It’s a better investment than three salads.
Edgar Wright’s (Shaun Of The Dead! Hot Fuzz! The World’s End! Scott Pilgrim vs. The World!) new film Baby Driver opens in theaters tomorrow (or in some locations, late tonight), and it is my wholehearted and sincere recommendation that you see it three times in theaters. I know this sounds insane, and I know people will say, “Movies cost $12.” Yes, I know that, I am smart, but so do salads at Sweetgreen and I don’t hear you complaining about that.
See Baby Driver in theaters the first time because it is a great movie and a perfect summer movie. How often does someone you know who you only kind of like say something like, “Why don’t they make heist movies anymore?” Hm, a good point. I think most movies should be about heists, which is good because Baby Driver is essentially a heist movie. Well, a jukebox musical/not-pure-comedy-but-for-sure-some-jokes/action-crime-heist movie. Set in modern Atlanta, Baby Driver is about a young getaway driver, Baby (played by my biological EDM son Ansel Elgort), who scores all of his make-or-break drives to songs on his iPod classic. Baby is indebted to a crime boss named Doc (Kevin Spacey) and is nearing the end of his tenure in which he hopes to break free, not ever commit another crime, and settle down in a life where he wouldn’t steal, flirt shamelessly, and make, uh, remixes. Who among us cannot say “same”? Who else is there? Jamie Foxx (who is a genius) and Eiza Gonzalez (who is extremely cool) and Jon Hamm (who has never looked hotter). Oh, and Jon Bernthal from everything. What’s your favorite Jon Bernthal vehicle? (Baby Driver pun not intended). Mine is We Are Your Friends. Anyway. It’s such a fun movie (Baby Driver, not We Are Your Friends, which is actually a very sad movie), so go see it one time.
And then go see Baby Driver a second time, maybe three or four days later, once it’s marinated into your state of being, and you find yourself only wanting to talk about it with your friends who for whatever reason still haven’t seen it??? Now that you know the plot, you can look for everything else. Wright is an immaculate director whose work is filled with jokes and details and nuance worth seeking out that second time. There is a joke so elegantly laid out in Baby Driver that it made me want to quit comedy. And the soundtrack! The music will wash over you the first time — not because it’s not integral, of course, but because you’ll be so immersed in the experience of watching it — but you’ll be able to listen for songs you know, songs you don’t know. This movie uses “Tequila” in a context just as good as Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.
mood: Ansel Elgort crying over a really good peach he ate in Paris
And then go see Baby Driver a third time because, Jesus Christ, what the hell else are you going to do? It’s good, it’s non-franchise, it’s under two hours, it takes place in Atlanta and some would call Atlanta its own character in the movie, it’s good, Edgar Wright is one of the best filmmakers alive, it’s good, Ansel Elgort has better Instagram stories than any other celebrity living or dead, it’s smart and detailed without buying in to its own mythology too hard, and it’s good. It’s the kind of movie that yanks you out of your sweltering home in 90-degree heat to sit inside with a big ol’ thing of popcorn and a Coke and pulls you in so hard that you emerge, fresh-faced, eager to start a life of crime (that, or just listen to “Radar Love” a lot).
Fran Hoepfner is a writer living in Chicago.