One of the hottest titles out of this year's SXSW lineup was Edgar Wright's high octane action-comedy, Baby Driver. Wright is best known for his singular style with critically acclaimed works like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End. This time around, though, Wright dives deep into the crime underworld of bank-robbing with a unique vision that only he can deliver.
Baby (Ansel Elgort) is the best get-away driver around, so he becomes the key cog in the operation of a powerful crime boss (Kevin Spacey) who masterminds bank robberies. But as Baby tries his hardest to give up this secret career, his waitress girlfriend (Lily James) and foster father find themselves entangled in the dangerous racket. This leaves Baby no choice but to take part in a heist that feels doomed to fail.
Baby Driver utilizes a phenomenal soundtrack to its advantage. The film's title character suffers from a constant hum in the eardrum following an accident as a child, and he's always listening to music in her earphones to drown out the noise. Consequently, Wright uses this behavior to edit his film accordingly in an uptempo and rhythmic sequence that keeps the pace flowing. Baby Driver moves without a hitch throughout its first two acts, lining up insanely-choreographed stunt driving with a witty dialogue that's become a staple in Wright's oeuvre. However, for no good reason whatsoever, Wright ditches his rhythmic approach during a third act that falls completely off the rails in both a realistic sense and structure. Baby Driver bounces from what feels like ending, to ending, to ending in a roundabout fashion that does absolutely no justice to the film. A once compelling effort becomes tarnished by cheaply dramatic flashback sequences and a forgettable finale. Thankfully, a thrilling and comical majority of the film makes its blemished conclusion worth sitting through.