Driver strives too hard to be cool

Central Otago Mirror - - CROMWELL BUSINESS HUB -

Baby Driver doesn’t have that getout and the on-screen mix quickly shat­ters our credulity and good­will.

An ob­vi­ous com­par­i­son might be True Ro­mance. But that film was based around a cou­ple of cred­i­bly tough and dam­aged kids. Noth­ing in El­gort’s per­for­mance as Baby hints at any real steel in his spine. And while Deb­ora never gets to do much at all but hang around wait­ing for Baby to call, True Ro­mance’s Alabama (Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette) fought mafia thug James Gan­dolfini to the death armed with noth­ing more than a dunny lid, a can of hair­spray and a corkscrew. The com­par­i­son is kinda damn­ing.

Wright is get­ting a lot of praise for stag­ing the car chases with ac­tual cars and stunt driv­ers. And that’s fair enough. Af­ter the mu­ti­lated pix­els-as-cars of the

Fast and Fu­ri­ous fran­chise, it is refreshing to see real metal on screen.

But the chases never achieve any­thing like the vis­ceral grit and threat of a French Con­nec­tion, Bul­lit, Ronin. I walked into Baby Driver want­ing, maybe even ex­pect­ing, to see a film that – like ev­ery­thing else Wright has made – would be the stuff of a fu­ture cult. What I got was a film that was try­ing way too hard to be cool. And as ev­ery­body knows, there’s noth­ing less cool than that. – Graeme Tuck­ett

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