How many plot issues can exhilarating action make up for?
I went into this film completely unaware of the plot and its premise. For all I knew “Baby Driver” could’ve been centered around a rebellious toddler who arrogantly idles around his/her cul de sac in a toy jeep. Although this particular plot wouldn’t garner much box office capital, it would most definitely ignite a colt following online. Yet that is neither here nor there.
The one thing I was aware of before seeing Baby Driver was its 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which has drawn people of all sorts to the theaters, excited for this new summer thrill ride.
Renowned movie critics from all over the nation proclaimed their praises for this trendy, action-packed thriller. Christopher Orr from The Atlantic categorizes this film as “the cinematic highlight of the summer so far.” In addition to Orr’s lofty praise, Richard Roeper from the Chicago Sun-Times says “Baby Driver is one of the most entertaining thrill rides of this year, this decade.”
There wasn’t a single moment in this movie that allowed me to take my eyes off the screen, which is a testament to the film’s fast pace and riveting action. And while I ultimately concluded that I enjoyed Baby Driver, I was left with two daunting questions disallowing me to fully agree with a majority of critics.
Why was Deborah so loyal to Baby, whom she had been on one date with?
Deborah met Baby at a diner following one of his exhilarating and dangerous getaway drives. It was established from the beginning of the movie that Baby was involved in illegal activity, which was mostly him driving criminals away from the police following bank robberies. But informing Deborah of his risky career right away would most likely (definitely) take her off-guard, so he refrained from exposing his secret.
Despite the fact that Baby was an extreme introvert throughout the movie, charm and confidence interestingly took over when speaking to Deborah, which was exhibited during his successful attempt of asking her on a date. They wine and dined at an expensive restaurant, enjoyed themselves quite a bit, and then the date was over.
Yet when push came to shove Deborah decided to remain by Baby’s side through it all? After one date? For most normal human beings, finding out that a potential partner was involved in illegal activities that have caused the police and other criminals to chase him down would be a deal breaker. No matter how good the first date was, nobody in their right mind would stick with a person they just met through this kind of conflict.
Baby was eventually caught and trapped by the police, forcing him to surrender. Deborah was willing to attempt to flee from them, but Baby chose to save her through sacrificing himself. He was then held in prison for five years, and do you know who was waiting for him right when he got out?
Deborah, that’s who.
Loyalty and dedication in relationships are incredibly admirable qualities, especially when displayed on the big screen. Deborah, on the other hand, unrealistically chose to wait for a convicted felon that she had been on one date with, which is a storyline flaw that will never sit well with me.
Who was the bad guy in this movie?
For a majority of the film, the antagonist seemed to undoubtedly be Doc, who was played by Kevin Spacey. This character forced Baby to start driving getaway cars when he was just a young boy, chaining him to a life of crime and anxiety. Even when he had promised Baby that his debt would soon be paid, which would allow the young driver to escape this dangerous lifestyle, Doc immediately sucked him back into the thick of things.
Clearly Doc is the bad guy, right? Wrong.
Following Baby’s impulsive decision that compromised his getaway mission, also causing the characters Bats and Darling to get killed, Doc didn’t seek revenge whatsoever. Additionally, when Baby was being tracked down by enemies, Doc told him to run off while he risked his life trying to buy him some time. So while Doc may have been the bad guy for a majority of the film, he redeemed himself at the end, stripping away his antagonistic categorization.
Other potential antagonists include the characters Bats and Buddy, who were both ultimately killed as a result of Baby’s decision to compromise the mission. Bats was a murderous felon who didn’t feel any sense of guilt when killing innocent civilians. While this clearly makes him a heinous individual, it doesn’t necessarily make him the default antagonist since his actions were never aimed at Baby, who was the protagonist.
Unlike Bats, Buddy was attempting to kill Baby at the end of the film. Due to Baby killing Bats and ruining the bank robbery, Buddy and his girlfriend Darling were forced to flee from the police. This ultimately resulted in Darling getting killed, motivating Buddy to seek revenge for his lost love.
This is what makes the antagonist label for Buddy so conflicting. While he was trying to kill Baby, it was somewhat justifiably motivated by revenge for a loved one. Furthermore, Buddy served as a guide and mentor for Baby for a large portion of the film. Whenever anyone else would try to hassle the young getaway driver, Buddy would step in to put a halt to the misplaced hostility.
Neither of these three mentioned characters can really be classified as a clear bad guy, which ultimately served to diminish the storyline of the film. These examples exhibit the flaw in online ratings of movies.
While Baby Driver certainly deserves a thumbs up for its jam-packed, thrilling action, the film’s evident plot flaws should disallow it from being deemed as a great movie.