Tag Archives: Kevin spacey

BABY DRIVER

“Edgar Wright seeks to deliver a film that’s hip, cool, and intense, with plenty of tongue-in-cheek comedic overtones.”

Wayward Wolf.

Observing Baby (Ansel Elgort) tapping, nodding and air-drumming his way through life is in some ways like staring in a mirror. Granted, I certainly can’t do the quiff these days, and I’m probably double the lad’s age and should know better, but still to this day I find it physically almost impossible to rein in an array of rhythmic beats and drum-fills that I can’t help but perform on desks and dashboards – or any hard surfaces for that matter – when listening to my music of choice – much to the chagrin of those around me, I suspect.

Whilst I don’t imagine I was the primary influence for director Edgar Wright’s  entertaining Baby Driver, the film’s hero is similarly afflicted by such sonically-triggered ‘ticks’. With earphones permanently lodged in earholes, he taps and struts his way through each passing day, invigorated by his own diverse musical soundtrack of life.

Having been in a car accident as a child, and having lost both of his parents as a result, Baby’s decision to be ‘plugged-in’ permanently to his collection of i-Pods, is as much for medical reasons as anything else. An attempt to drown out the annoying tinnitus that has since plagued him.

Indebted financially to a rather sinister gang boss, Doc (Kevin Spacey), Baby has been forced to drive getaway cars for him on a variety of bank heists. His skills behind the wheel are something to behold, and whilst Doc insists on changing the lineup for each job that he masterminds, the one constant every time is his driver, Baby.

Encouraged to do so by his deaf and crippled foster father, and with a newly-found sweetheart on the scene – Debora (Lily James) – Baby is determined to finally distance himself from this life of crime that he so reluctantly leads, but even once his debt to Doc has been repaid in full, it’s clear that his overlord is not willing to let him walk away that easily.

Drastic situations then, call for drastic measures…

As mentioned previously, Baby Driver is very definitely an entertaining piece. Edgar Wright seeks to deliver a film that’s hip, cool, and intense, with plenty of tongue-in-cheek comedic overtones. All of this he achieves, to an extent, through his use of a number of sweetly choreographed, intelligently-shot high-octane car chases and mass shoot-outs, not to mention a sharp and witty script to accompany. This is after all a director that knows comedy, both through his previous film work, and more historically having been involved with the show that spawned the marvellous Bobby Chariot – namely Alexei Sayle’s Merry-Go-Round – and the critically-acclaimed, and quite frankly tremendous, Spaced.

As for the casting, Baby Driver hits the mark. Elgort is great as something of a brooding James Dean-esque hero, Spacey is suitably menacing as the gang boss, whilst Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal and Jon Hamm each put in convincing turns as an assortment of grizzled, shotgun-wielding ne’er-do-wells.

If there are criticisms to be made, it’s perhaps noticeable that Baby Driver does have a tendency to flag a little in its second half, owing to its propensity for over-indulgence in fairly unnecessary dialogue. This comes at the expense of momentum, of which there is great abundance until that point. Not only this, but the film’s concluding chapter does feel a little forced and ill-thought-out; ultimately therefore a tad unconvincing.

In the grand scheme of things though, these are minor complaints, and shouldn’t detract too much from a film whose ability to entertain and thrill far outweighs any negatives we may choose to throw at it.

Whilst maybe not of the same vintage as some of his previous outings – think Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, or even World’s End for that matter – Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is however great fun, and another worthy feather in the cap for a director who continues to build up a quality and consistently enjoyable body of work.

Long may it continue.

 

GUEST FILM REVIEW: Antman: (By Parvez Siddiqui)

Time is infinite, as is space, and the universe. As we all know, there’s also the Marvel Universe, DC universe, and all the other universes that seem to be invading the one we currently live in.

Superhero bandwagons keep rolling on, and with Antman, we’re treated to a new kind of hero! I’m like you, prior to a year ago, I’d never heard of him either. I’m sure Marvel aficionados will be able to tell you about the origins of how Antman came about and how he’s a flawed character yadda yadda yadda, but this is my first encounter with our new insect friend.

From the first trailer I saw, one of Antmans powers would be to be able to use ants as his allies. I did wonder what use could an army of single file, sugar carrying, marching minions be for anyone. But I was pleasantly surprised during the movie to watch them assist in making a hot beverage! I thought that we can now stop inventing things, as we are now living in the future!

This movie is a lot of fun. I went in to see this with no pre conceptions of a dark anti-hero (pun intended) struggling with self-existence, or some over scientific complex movie that needed explaining to the audience every 10 minutes. Basically, the guy wears a suit that makes him the size of an ant, and gets into little spaces, and can then make himself full sized again.

I like Paul Rudd as an actor, and this is a perfect more mainstream role for him. He can basically be his funny self, and be a hero that we all like too. The supporting cast of Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas too are really good. They support Rudd perfectly as his allies, along with a cast of ants too numerous to mention.

I really like Corey Stoll too as the villain. I first really saw him in House Of Cards, when he played a vulnerable US Senator, who I really sympathised with.  In this movie, I liked his power hungry and evil side.  I do think he’s going to be a big actor, and working with Kevin Spacey has only pushed him into better things. Long may it continue as I would consider watching any movie with Stoll.

As for Antman as a whole, I liked it. It won’t win any Oscars, but there is a place for movies where you can check in your brain at the door, and ask to be entertained for 90 minutes.

Parvez Siddiqui