Tag Archives: Edgar Wright

Baby Driver

Baby Driver posterFrom the moment Edgar Wright’s latest film Baby Driver begins with a full volume blast of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion as we focus on Ansel Elgort’s ‘Baby’ sat in a high-powered car waiting for a heist to take place while rocking out to the sounds of his iPod it’s clear this isn’t going to be a normal crime thriller.

What this instantly sets up is something that has become a hallmark of Wright’s work, just taken to a new level, of combining two somewhat improbable genres at once. So, following the romcom/horror of Shaun Of The Dead, the teen movie/comic book movie of Scott Pilgrim Vs The World we get a musical comedy crime thriller.

A fairly simple plot device sets this up and is very well handled through the tale of Baby’s involvement with a criminal gang and his attempt to remove himself from this life.

While the part of Baby is fairly stoic Elgort brings a great presence and depth to his role and, as he in virtually every shot of the film, delivers a very impressive performance.

Ansel Elgort as Baby in Baby Driver

Ansel Elgort as Baby

Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx meanwhile all look to be having a great time letting their villainous sides out and pitching it with a great deal of humour but really turning up the threat when needed (Foxx and Hamm switch to a scary level of intensity very impressively).

Like Wright’s other work though the director’s style really is the co-star as the camera flies and spins around to create some of the best driving sequences I’ve seen in along that never lose the point of the story or get lost in cgi and puts the increasingly overblown Fast & Furious movies to shame with its structural simplicity.

Along with this of course Wright adds a matching level of camera movement and action to the most mundane of tasks like making breakfast or buying coffee, making the whole film move seamlessly regardless of what’s going on and even the romantic sub-plot doesn’t feel forced.

Kevin Spacey and the gang in Baby Driver

Kevin Spacey and the gang

What all this does is create a film that takes Wright away from the ‘Cornetto trilogy’ much of his reputation is based on, and show he is more than capable of translating his style into a more action centric movie Hollywood prefers without losing the thing that makes his films what they are, leaving us with one of the most entertaining films I remember in sometime with a soundtrack to rival any in recent memory.

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The World’s End

The World's End posterGoing into the final installment in the loosely collected Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy I have to admit I felt a certain amount of trepidation. While I have greatly enjoyed the ouvre of Wright, Pegg and Frost from Spaced to Hot Fuzz (including Scott Pilgrim vs The World and, to a lesser extent, Paul) the chances of striking fried gold once again were, to my mind, slim.

Well, thankfully, I was wrong and the trio once again combined to create a great film that is certainly one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time.

Ostensibly dealing with a group of old school friends reuniting for a pub-crawl, much like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz there is another side to the movie too. Really this is where the trilogy aspect comes from as the movie once again deals with aspects of growing up and fitting in to the world along with the forces that act on us as ‘society’.

Simon Pegg as Gary King

Simon Pegg as Gary King

Also, as with the previous two films, this takes a genre as it’s starting off point so while Shaun dealt with zombies and Fuzz was action this is, in its way, sci-fi and once again its clear (as if we didn’t know already) that Wright, Pegg and Frost know their sci-fi movies as they create something that really does have the feel of a full blown sci-fi film, in the context of a very English pub crawl.

Stylistically Wright does pretty much everything we’ve come to expect but has added a few new tricks to proceedings and his time working in Hollywood is evident as certain aspects bring a much wider scope, particularly in terms of visual effects, than either of the previous movies, but it never deviates from the somewhat charming lo-fi feel that all the films have managed to maintain in the face of increasing budgets.

Nick Frost as Andrew Knightley

Nick Frost as Andrew Knightley

While Wright gets a chance to shine and show off some new things, so too do Pegg and Frost. In the past two films they have largely filled the roles of Pegg being the lead and Frost being the comedy sidekick, here though things feel a lot more even and, while Pegg remains the catalyst, Frost has been elevated to a near equal footing and a more serious, less comedy foil role (though that’s not to say both aren’t extremely funny throughout with the close relationship between their characters again being a pivotal plot point).

Backing up the lead duo are Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan all of whom are also great with Eddie Marsan in particular becoming the more comic one of the group as the film goes on, though again all have their moments.

The World's EndTonally the film also has a few shifts that it would be hard to discuss without spoilers, but, suffice to say they give Pegg and Frost slightly more to do with their characters and, while not overbearing, add an extra sense of depth and help make the potentially otherwise 2D character of Gary King (Pegg) a little more rounded.

Much like its predecessors though it is a combination of all these things that make it such an enjoyable movie, as it treads a fine line of taking the sci-fi aspect too far, but never does, while also never letting the comedy overwhelm the plot and mixes a certain level of juvenile humour with more refined style to create something that it seems Hollywood comedy has lost the ability to do.

And here’s what the guys over at Sarnia Cinema thought of it:

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