On Friday night, K students assembled in Dewing 103 for a 9:30 p.m. showing of the popular 2017 action-comedy “Baby Driver.” The showing was the second of many weekly Zoo Flicks that the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) has scheduled for the year. Zoo Flicks are held in Dewing 103 every Friday night, featuring complimentary popcorn and soda.
The crowd continued to settle in until 9:35 p.m., and for a while it appeared that the film would start shortly after. But by 9:40 p.m., it was apparent that the film would be delayed due to technical difficulties. Though two helpful students volunteered to boost morale by leading the moviegoers in a peppy chant – “I’m alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic” – by 10:00 p.m. some students were already walking out. The issue was finally fixed at 10:06 p.m.
“Baby Driver” dabbles in the best of the action, heist and comedy genres, all the while containing hints of what could only be described as a musical. The film’s unique jumble of genres make for a novel viewing – one with enough clever details and quirks to warrant a rewatch.
Though the “one last job” formula that the film follows is hard to keep fresh, director Edgar Wright rose to the task and kept the pace unpredictable with adventurous and stylized cinematography. The magic at the heart of “Baby Driver,” however, is the superbly selected soundtrack that matches up with the frames in surprising and entertaining ways. Though the film is still littered with plenty cardboard catchphrases and plot holes, I found it hard to be cynical with such a joyful and refreshing soundtrack guiding me through the story.
The film does have some worthy substance to offer, in addition to its delicious feast of style. Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, is a fascinating and charming protagonist who has many quirks — like remixing past conversations to hip-hop beats — that make him easy to engage with and root for. He is a music lover who is constantly shielded by signature sunglasses and earbuds, simultaneously at home and out of place in the world of crime he is trying to escape.
Baby is given an all-star cast of villains, played by Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm, who are fairly entertaining, but the film is most convincingly anchored by the love story between Baby and fellow music lover Debora, played by Lily James. Watching their simplistic yet compelling relationship unfold nicely complemented the otherwise breakneck pace of the film.
If you happened to miss this showing, catching “Baby Driver” online is well worth it. Though you won’t experience the lively crowd participation on the part of K students or the free popcorn, the fresh blend of action, comedy and music make “Baby Driver” a must-see.