5 Ways to Prep: Baby Driver
By George Rose
July 3, 2017
This is an easy debate. I’m tired of “blockbusters” and sequels/reboots/relaunches/spin-offs. They have done nothing but disappoint me lately, and early word is DM3 may not top $1 billion. It will still make stupid amounts of money but will fall short of the film before it. Wait, what?! Another film in an overly long franchise won’t earn as much as its predecessors?! HOW SHOCKING! Whatever, I’m over it. Moving on. Edgar Wright has had a short but fascinating directing career and thus takes the crown this week with the highly prestigious honor of being my choice for 5 Ways to Prep.
1) Drive (2011)
The simple explanation for Baby Driver’s plot is that it’s about a getaway driver. A few other minor details might be to say that music plays a big part in this movie, with the shockingly young driving protégé listening to an iPod to help get through the inevitable action ahead. It’s a simple enough story with a cute little catch, but this isn’t a revolutionary idea. This has been done before, most recently in 2011’s Drive starring mega-sex symbol (but, I guess, also critically well regarded) Ryan Gosling.
Drive is also about a getaway driver, though he doesn’t listen to the soundtrack on an iPod. An ‘80s music and theme is heavily applied to the production, giving it a neo-noir feeling that the brooding Gosling fits into perfectly. It also more than earns its hard R-rating, with one star taking a shotgun to the face and another having their head curb-stomped in all its gory glory. I’m not sure yet if Baby Driver’s R-rating is also due to such graphic violence or simply for having a foul mouth. Either way, Drive is an acclaimed and entertaining way to experience the story of a getaway driver set against the backdrop of a masterfully crafted soundtrack.
2) Cinderella (2015)
So Ansel Elgort plays the main character in Baby Driver, and it would naturally make the most sense to recommend a movie he’s been in. However, I have a feeling his character might be better received in Baby Driver if you stick with the mystery surrounding the guy that never takes off his headphones. If you saw him in the Divergent series, you’d hate him. If you saw him in The Fault in Our Stars, you’d pity him. I think his character in Baby Driver is meant to be liked yet misunderstood, so my recommendation is to go into the movie knowing as little about Ansel as possible. Again, do NOT prepare by seeing an Ansel Elgort movie! Instead, let’s take a closer look at his Baby Driver love interest.
From what I gather in the commercials, Elgort’s character likes some raggedy waitress named Debora. Who has so little self-respect as to date a waitress, right? Except this poor white trash is the STUNNING Lily James. She is, and definitely was in 2015, the epitome of Cinderella. Beneath Debora’s tattered clothes and ketchup-stained apron is a server with a heart of gold, a smile of diamonds, and the radiant glow of a sky full of stars. Cinderella put James on the map and proved she is worthy of our love and attention. To see James magically spinning in her famous blue Cinderella dress is to understand how Elgort’s character in Baby Driver sees Debora when she’s serving him his pancakes. Jones is definitely the diamond in the rough part of Baby Driver’s town, and her presence alone makes the movie worth seeing.