The film can be ascribed to so many genres, but it’s still a film that knows exactly what it is. The script is very efficient at setting up the character and his goals, as well as fitting and increasingly challenging obstacles. So you very easily start caring about the turns the story take, and the decisions Baby makes, as well as those he doesn’t get to make. The film makes so many references, visual and dialogue-based, and not just for the sake of being cool, or ticking boxes, they actually serve story and character.
Same goes for the soundtrack: since Guardians of the Galaxy, a few of films have tried to overuse old school popular songs in their OST, just to get the “Awesome Mixtape Vol. 1” effect, just for the sake of it… (Something similar occurred after the success of Driver, a few films tried to overuse 80’s electronic music in their soundtracks… just because)
Hollywood Exec – ‘Hey, people loved the music in that film, so they’ll love it if we do the same in our next couple films, right??’
The Universe – ‘meh’
I’d go as far as to say Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is also guilty of that, but that’s a different conversation…
Baby Driver makes the music and its soundtrack a crucial, even indispensable, part of the character, the narrative, and the storytelling. Baby Driver just wouldn’t be Baby Driver without it, and that’s why it works. Every song delivers us with more information about our characters, who they really are, and who/what they want to be which in turn drives the story forward, but also makes us care, worry about or hate our characters, which enhances the impact of each handbrake turn the story drifts into.
I also think it nails its dialogue/lyrical elements down to a T, thanks to its brilliant cast. Something Spike Lee attempted with Chiraq, (which I respect him loads for.) But was pulled off only by some of the actors (the stronger ones at that).
So yea, 10/10, and I will most likely watch it again in the next couple of days.