Baby Driver begins with a pretty dope heist scene that thrusts us right into the action. Its initial charm rests heavily on the world "happening" to the beat of whatever song was on Infant's (Ansel Elgort) iPod. It was immediately clear that this movie was either 1)going to explain most of what we see through flashbacks or B)not going to explain what we see at all. Most of the movie falls within one of those two categories. The opening sequence lands somewhere in the middle, surrounded by loose change, probably.
After the buzz from the opener wears off, we start to get a little bit of the backstory. Kevin Spacey is good, sure, but all that we really know about him (at any point of the movie) is that he is mysterious and powerful, and that his mystery is only exceeded by his power. Something like that. It works for the first act of the movie, but once it's clear the stakes are high I need to know why. He basically says "You know why we're doing this," and that's supposed to be enough for the viewer.
There are attempts to fill in Infant's life up to present day, which you get in slivers throughout the movie. They help, but they don't explain why a "criminal mastermind" would deal with a loose cannon of Bats' (Jamie Foxx) caliber. I'm also not sure why any of the crew members would have a problem with a driver who didn't talk much. You want your literal partners-in-crime to not be big talkers, right? This is why I don't do crime.
The love interest portion of the movie is a little out-of-nowhere, to me, as I'd imagine more people would find it very weird that Infant records his daily conversations. They fell in love in, what, a week? Two weeks? Like, this girl was ready to die for this relationship, too. He's a getaway driver. Debora (Lily James), you in danger, girl. Clearly, this was for additional dramatic effect. It really comes into play toward the end. I'm getting there.
My gripes - so far - are predominantly regarding small, negligible things. My biggest problem with Baby Driver, though, is the complete left turn the third act takes. It goes from a fun movie about car chases and fairly eccentric criminals to a full-on nonsensical killing spree. We know enough about Buddy (Jon Hamm) to know he's tenacious, but he turns into the liquid Terminator and it's just ridiculous. If you lost track of what Infant was even trying to do, that makes two of us.
As entertaining as Baby Driver is, I feel it had so much potential to be better. There were a lot of cool things about it; some seemed like gags (Infant's seemingly endless supply of sunglasses and iPods), while others actually made the character more complete (Infant's lip-reading). When it was over, my first thought was about how it's filmed in an in-your-face way that instantly engages you. Now, while dissecting it, I can only think about how disconnected each piece was from the other pieces.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Verdict: Maybe See That