I was literally obsessed with the Baby Driver soundtrack for weeks. And there's a reason obviously. A shy and introvert young driver constantly playing one song after the other as a soundtrack of his life, how couldn't it be incredibly good?
When I listen to a very good album, I picture myself as part of a video and if you haven't done it, you better should! It makes you feel super cool and connected with the world around you: that's why I immediately relate with Baby, the main protagonist.
"Was he slow?". Plus he's pretty intense while driving, and I always loved to be good as Sebastian Loeb, so he's definitely not slow! So why this good guy ends up being part of a criminal crew stealing all around Atlanta? Even if the movie has some problems in terms of development of the story - I'll go through it in a moment - let's start from the sweet candy of the story.
One long take that will make you wanna dance. A well played example of a long take scene, where music is intertwined with acting and background. (Have you noticed words from the lyrics on the walls? I loved it!)
B-A-B-Y, baby. Whenever the sun don't shine. Love story first encounter between Baby and Debra is just as cute as ever. As a girl, I love to think about love scene in real life being so simple and yet so effective. Why it works? Because it's the powerful story of a lonely guy, who has the chance to know the girl he has fallen in love with - his name, Baby, comes from the song she's singing at the beginning - protect her and save her. That's powerful: it's the Romeo and Juliet story, but with a happily-ever-after ending.
Irony, well played. I suggest two scenes: in the first one Baby is in a post office to make a warm-up reconnaissance before the hit. "Take the nephew, less suspicious", is the final advise of his boss, Kevin Spacey. Once inside, he's floored by the situation. And the dialog with the post employee is so simple, quoting Dolly Parton "Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain". Later, during the hit, they look into each other eyes, and it's raining, as a remainder of their talks the days before.
In the second scene, right before the final act, Baby is on the run and he's going to pick up Debra to leave the city, but at the bar where she works shows up his worst enemy Buddy (Jon Hamm), angry because his girlfriend and partner in crime is dead. The funny part is played by the music. In a slow-motion scene we are face to face with Buddy drinking coffee in front of Debra, really scared, and the iPod in Baby's ears plays: "Never gonna give you up" by Barry White. That's why you should really play the soundtrack by clicking the picture here on the right (Spotify source).
What's wrong with this movie? You don't have a bad guy. A huge one. You have the first opponent (Jon Bernthal), than you have Buddy, which could be a fake friend, then a second opponent (Jamie Foxx) and then you have Doc, the criminal mastermind (Kevin Spacey).
We don't have to go deep inside the storytelling architecture, but let me be straight with that.
The Hero needs an opponent. In the story development he can face different minor opponents. He will defeat all of them, but the final battle will be just with the Opponent. Which leads us to the fact that Baby doesn't have a strong Opponent from the beginning to the end. Think about a Peter Pan story where the final Opponent for Peter is not Captain Hook, but his boatswain Mr. Smee.
But what you will love in the end, is the passionate love of the two lovebirds. And that's ok!