All you fidget-spinning, onesie-wearing, man-bunned fucks may not know this, but MTV stands for "music television." Way back in the hazy mists of time, long before Teen Mom, Real World or even Daria, MTV used to show nothing but music videos. I know that comes as a shock to Generation Instagram because nowadays you’re as likely to find a music video on MTV as you are a telegraph operator at AT&T or cocaine in your Coke.
Maybe that's why Edgar "Ain't No" Wright decided to turn a little-known Simon and Garfunkel song into Baby Driver, a loosely-connected series of music videos posing as a movie. Nostalgia, thy name is foppish Brits.
Baby Driver is not about a guy who drives babies around. Nor a baby who somehow manages to drive himself around (maybe using an intricate pulley system, customized controls and a booster seat). Nor some sort of tool that enables the user to screw babies into pieces of wood or masonry. Nor even a component of the Baby software suite.
Nope like the Pope on dope. Instead, Baby Driver is about a twenty-something dude (Ansel "It’s Spanish for Gort" Elgort) who gained super driving powers by surviving the car accident that killed his parents back when he was a kid. Because radioactive spiders and gamma rays are so 1968. The orphaning crash left him with tinnitus, so he listens to music pretty much non-stop to drown out the never-ending test of the emergency broadcast system playing in his ears.
That music forms the soundtrack to 90% of what's onscreen. Car chase after car chase is scored to the likes of the Damned's "Neat Neat Neat" and Golden Earring's "Radar Love." During the numerous gunfights, the gunshots sync up with the signature percussion beats of tunes likes The Champs' "Tequila."
Which basically makes Baby Driver more musical than action flick. Think La La Land of the Fast and Furious.
Is that innovative? Sure. So is feeding the homeless to the hungry and solving two of the world’s biggest social problems in one fell swoop like a fucking boss. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Although, it would be nice not to get heckled by panhandlers on every corner and to never have to see another, “For just $1.00 a day you could save little Click-Click Bongo’s life.” commercial. Hmm?
If your idea of high-octane thrills is seeing Kevin “Lost In” Spacey do his smartest-scumbag-in-the-room thing or checking out what Don Draper would be like if he robbed banks instead of wrote ads, you’ll be sucking Baby Driver’s tailpipe like you were Liberace and it was the last dick this side of Laredo.
If you want to see what kind of rubber Wright can really burn, though, you need to watch Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz or The World’s End. Long live the hopefully increasingly misnamed Cornetto Trilogy!
June 30, 2017