Written & Directed By: Edgar Wright
Cinematography By: Bill Pope
Editor: Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss
Cast: Ansel Egort, Lilly James, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Bernthal, Sky Ferreira, Paul Williams, Flea, CJ Jones
After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
I Can’t say enough good things about this movie. Apparently, I drank it’s kool-aid and found it quite refreshing.
The film surprises, Every time Edgar Wright makes a movie it feels like a gift. Usually, it seems as it takes too long to get to us. Though it is always worth it. It gives us a glimpse of his creative imagination and skill. Even with high hopes always seem to underestimate him. The movie is quite a ride. Like a roller coaster that you never want to leave. Perfect for the summer or anytime. The movie has style for days and most of all just plain fun and never in a stupid way.
The film keeps up energy that is Infectious for the audiences. It’s a film that has a fun personality and doesn’t have to do too much to charm.
The film maintains an excitement throughout which the audience feeds off of and feels a similar excitement throughout. Which are a difficult thing to do these days as in blockbusters and films things seem so routine and planned out. That the filmmakers seem to be all over the place. Here it feels like the filmmakers and cast are constantly energized by one another and even if not necessarily personal the film feels like there was a lot of passion going into it.
It also is nice to see the film allows for homages and references to other films and pop culture. That won’t date the film necessarily but gives it more of a modern in the moment flavor.
Like how he obscures the violence while you feel the impact. Through clever framing and blocking. There are three-way chase sequences. Where the criminals are running from the cops then not trusting one another start running away from one another and trying to catch each other realizing the other has what they need
The film includes bad guys choosing to be humane, Good guys choosing to be bad. Action sequences that don’t rely so much on fighting hand to hand combat or toughness but agility and having peace of mind to figure your way out.
The film includes a love story that keeps it’s purity because the romance is never really consummated. So that it keeps an innocence but feels kind of melodramatic like a teen film from the 1950s with dreams of hitting the open road together. Maybe as the romance is so simple, sweet, and easy. Really built off of. Itching but attraction and politeness. That it feels like first love and making a connection. Something that at first is never complicated or at least it doesn’t seem that way. Though through the actions of the films proves that each of them truly rides or die for one another.
Like a comic book come to life. It knows what type of film it is and as long as you keep that in mind you should enjoy it. As it incorporates many little left turns of genre specifics into it’s crime and love story. It feels like a candy-sweet and filled with sugar that energizes you. As well as being that colorful. It Manages to keep an innocence and wonder, That keeps you caring.
The film manages to be thrilling and menacing in the right moments. So that you are on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen. So much effortless style that you can feel it but don’t realize how remarkable it is until later on thinking back about it and, you will trust me.
The movie lacks a certain depth and sustenance, but that is truly one of it’s few weaknesses overall. Which aren’t necessarily needed in this equation.
The lead played by Ansel Egort is kind of bland, but he needs to be as usually the main characters in these types of films are the strong silent type where you can easily read whatever you want into them. Here we are given more of his backstory, but the role seems to more take advantage of Ansel Egort physically as he is skinny and limber with a bay face. That is easy to mold him into whatever you need out of a leading man.
One of the reasons for the enjoyment of the film is the supporting characters who liven up the film and add flavor where the lead does not and really can’t as his character is pretty plain and simple. He is mostly driven towards newfound goals. Though there is a reason why Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx are in the movie. Whereas at first they just seem to be there to be named on the posters and big names who do nothing, but as the film goes along we see why they are in the film and are more than the unassuming roles we bought at first. They each get to reveal more about them than we originally thought. Not necessarily surprises but they liven up the film. To be more than just cops and robbers.
The big-name supporting stars are a revelation as at first they seem just there to be part of the background then they come out and show what they are truly all about. I mean this is a film where you have two Best Actor Oscar winners playing supporting roles. So there must be something about the script and film that got them to sign on in a diminished capacity (Yes I know they both were in the disappointing HORRIBLE BOSSES too. though I will think of that as more paycheck roles. Not so much here)
Jamie Foxx is memorable as an over the edge criminal who is antagonistic as he trusts no one. It seems with each crew baby works with there is one. Who more or less helps with the exposition.
Jon Hamm, seems a simple happy go, lucky thug, who comes out late in the film letting his inner psychopath out in search of revenge and retribution. He also has a certain bad boy handsome here. That makes him more a dangerous lady killer than just the usual leading man
Eiza Gonzalez is more the sexy wildfire who is both sexy and deadly but carries a kind of a mystery to her and proves to be more than what she looks like or what you would expect. though not featured too much she is a. Ice price of eye candy to go with the visuals.
Even Kevin Spacey is off the charts as the mastermind. Here he is more. Noteworthy for his middle-class menace where he can compliment and threaten in one sentence but you know he is never lying. We are used to him being the smartest person in the room and acting like he is above everyone else, but the last act moment truly shines his character in a different light. His upper-crust was doesn’t seem out of place. Nor does it distract or obstruct the flow of his character or the movie. If anything it helps feed it.
What is fun is that the villains or at least the threats to our young protagonist keep changing hands. As to who he has to be afraid of or see as a major threat and maybe overcome.
Now know this film is candy-colored and visceral with it’s excitement and shots. In the texture of course it never becomes as serious or as accomplished as films like DRIVE, THE DRIVER, and BULLIT. Though it does align itself as more of a lighter-toned chase film. It does have it’s own personality and identity. Though you would also check out those films to see where Edgar Wright might have gotten his inspiration. He even gives DRIVER director Walter Hill a cameo in the film. (Among other blink and you miss them cameos from Rappers Big Boi and Killer Mike)
Edgar Wright timed the character’s movements to the beat of the film’s songs. Even in the film’s credit sequence which is done all in one continuous tracking shot and take.
The film comes off as a nice movie that offers more of a lite touch. Though with humor and adrenaline-filled action scenes. That hardcore movie fans can enjoy for it’s more technical aspects and general audience members can enjoy as a fun action film. That is many things at once. As it pays homage to many films and genres which will seem familiar for many but new for some. One of them is a Teenage 1950’s film with diners and car racing and a love story in the middle with plans of running away together.
The soundtrack is the heartbeat for the film and the characters bot only the lead using it to fuel himself up. But also keeps the film moving. Along and on best and keeping the audience energized and going with it. Filling us with excitement and energy as well as adding some songs to our repertoire or recalling ones we think we know. As the cuts here are mostly deep ones
The film is wall to wall with music on it’s soundtrack that partially powers or motivates the protagonist due to a disability but also livens up the scenes making it feel like most of us have always wanted a soundtrack to go with our lives and actions. Sometimes with a popular song but mostly with something a little less unknown and obscure but fits the mood.
The film shows us this early in an inventive credit sequence and also in introducing us to the characters and situation in the opening scene. That allows for action but also alerts us to the character’s youth and sense of play in a tight situation. Which gives us a remembrance of the possibilities of youth? When you might never have known better about the dangers and situations you were facing. Even if you knew they were serious.
The film is lighter in touch than some more harder action movies which is part of the charm and broader appeal.
For some they might find it too lighthearted or not enough substance and a general lack of action or even gunplay which might take them out of the film or find the film feeling like it is trying to hard to be cool.
While it is a great film. It is also a film I can see younger people loving as it moves fast and really barely has anything offensive. Anything that does is on the edges and more due to language. So this is one of those movies I believe most ages can enjoy for the most part.
Another thing to admire about the film is that in these days of films filled with special effects for the smallest things. The director revealed that there was no CGI or green screen used to film the car chase sequences. The driving is all practically done.
It’s nice to see a film that is smaller budgeted and put out by a studio that is as exciting and fulfilling as the bigger budget blockbusters