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The Rampage

Baby Driver: An Unexpected Hit

Harry Shams

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From Baywatch to The Dark Tower, moviegoers this summer found themselves plagued by a series of disappointing film-flops. Baby Driver, in many ways, was expected to be no different from its counterparts. The cast was talented, but not star-studded enough to bring people running to the theater. The plot seemed interesting, but the “getaway” driver is a recycled character. That being said, viewers were shocked to hear that critics were praising the movie for its ingenuity and originality, with the film receiving a critical rating of 94% on the movie aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. With critical praise backing the action flick, Baby Driver soon became a summer hit among audiences. So, what exactly is it that makes Baby Driver so good?

For starters, the secret weapon is actor Ansel Elgort. Elgort was catapulted to stardom after playing Augustus Waters in the film adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars. With Baby Driver, he makes his action debut. Briefly stated, Elgort plays the part of Baby with complete accuracy. While the getaway driver is a historically shallow character, Elgort adds depth and emotion to Baby in a truly original way. He makes the viewer relate to Baby, and by the end of the movie, you will be left feeling as if his story is your story.

The movie had another incredible aspect: the soundtrack. Much of the movie revolves around car chases and long action sequences, which, on their own, are already exhilarating. However, the entire movie is set to a playlist of ‘70s and ‘80s music, similar to the soundtrack of Guardians of the Galaxy. Throughout the movie, we see Baby fiddle around on his iPod, picking songs that perfectly fit the mood of the scene. This technique of having the protagonist pick the music played throughout the movie makes for an entertaining, and highly Shazam-able, experience.

A final component makes the movie a true success: the screenplay. The movie is filled with sharp, fast dialogue. The characters of Doc and Bats (played by Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx, respectively) offer particularly witty lines throughout the movie. In one scene, Bats advises Baby to stay emotionally unattached to anyone and everyone he meets. Otherwise, he would only be jeopardizing his career as a getaway driver, along with his life. Pointing his gun at Baby, Bats then wittily says: “The moment you catch feelings is the moment you catch a bullet.”

        In an age where “horrible” to “just passable” movies are becoming the norm in Hollywood, it is good to know that there are still devoted and imaginative filmmakers working to produce some quality films. Baby Driver is one of them.

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The student newspaper of the Ramaz Upper School