By Caleb Bobrycki
Image Credit: Sony
*Some spoilers ahead*
After a long life of driving for a top-notch criminal, Baby must make a decision between one final heist that looks unpromising and a girl that he loves. Edgar Wright, any would admit, never makes a sloppy movie. Among the highest ranks, with titles like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End, Wright manages to make comedic action flicks with unrelenting pace and important messages.
Baby Driver, make no mistake, is his magnum opus thus far, excelling in every one of his graces, and many new ones. Baby has almost no flaws, failing in only few things: Foxx’s character is over-the-top; and maybe we would like to know more about Baby. But that’s it, for me. There is no style over substance, the characters are all fleshed out quite well (even when we do not ask for it), and Wright successfully removes any baggage the heist genre now brings. Most impressive, technically speaking, is the choreography: every shot in the film is to the rhythm of Baby’s music playlist on his iPod; gunshots, car doors, walking, are all to the beat of rock-and-roll. BD has a way of luring the audience into a musical, colorful, criminal world, yet never distracting from Baby’s struggle to escape a dark situation.
To the Stars Through Difficulty
Highlighted by the camera-work, a side-character makes clear a distinct message of the film when she says to Baby that in order to get to the rainbow, one must first go through the storm; later, the events of the film take a dark turn framed with an actual storm. Can any not hear the gospel screaming out from the screen at this point? Christians have heard it hundreds of times: all things for good for those who love God. However, let’s not miss an opportunity to dwell on this truth: “If we suffer, we shall also reign with [Christ” (2 Timothy 2:12). No one knew suffering like Christ, and the call to those who are in him is to not wonder at suffering, but embrace it. Though done with spunk and style, Baby Driver successfully shows how the end of true pleasure is paved with a means of pain.
The state flag of Kansas has the Latin phrase etched on it “Ad Astra Per Aspera,” which means “To the Stars through difficulty/hardship”. No stars are symbolized, but the film does end with a rainbow in the backdrop, symbolizing the prophetic nature of the previous remarks on suffering paying off. Furthermore, the already Biblical nature of rainbows will only continue reminding Christians of this, as the first bow given to Noah was a sign of a covenant, a symbol of hope. Christ and all who are in him, like Baby, hold out for hope, heading to the stars through difficulty.