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Rhythm is what ties everything in this movie together. Rhythm defines Edgar Wright’s style.

Edgar Wright had a disappointing couple of years, I think. Getting over all that work he put into Ant-Man must have been rough but I’m so glad it meant that this movie, which Wright first developed in the 90’s, got to exist. As pointed out elsewhere, Wright might have a little Marvel still stuck in his teeth but ultimately I think everybody is going to agree that he hasn’t lost a step. Baby Driver is full of the inventive filmmaking and action he’s known for while also being vastly different from his other movies.

What most people are saying about Baby Driver¬†is how fun and entertaining it is. I’ll echo that while also adding that it’s a surprisingly dark and consequence-laden movie. Wright has always been deft with tonal shifts and messing with genre conventions and while¬†Baby Driver does balance a light-hearted romantic tone with some heavier elements, it’s actually kind of refreshingly straightforward when it comes to its genre. Wright has made his version of a Michael Mann film in a film where every character thinks they are in their own movie. Wright’s genius here is that he’s making all those movies by referencing, recycling, nodding, and reinventing parts of them.

I think Baby Driver is destined to be a crowd-pleaser. There’s too much to like about it and it’s kind of universally appealing, I think. Part of that is the really joyous way it uses music, and part of it is just that everybody loves a crime movie. If there are any complaints to be made, they’ll probably arise from the nuts and bolts mechanics of the story and its somewhat misleading structure. The last act will not fully work for everyone, but I think it’s not going to really damage anyone’s enjoyment of the movie overall. I’ll talk about these issues later, but I really think they are likely to end up being footnotes on a masterpiece.

SPOILERS RACING BY!

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Tarantino’s films sometimes include an element of bromance. Never quite like this.

Django Unchained is Tarantino doing a Western face-first. The influence of Westerns is everywhere in his work, and even if you didn’t know that you can still probably imagine what a Tarantino Western would be like. Close your eyes for a minute and dream of that movie. Django Unchained is that movie. Except it’s also not. What I mean by this is that it’s been called a ‘Southern’ due to the specificity of its setting and context.

Most Westerns, especially American ones, shy away from dealing with how African slaves were treated in the years prior to the Civil War. Django Unchained takes place a few years before emancipation and slavery is still very much a thing. Tarantino isn’t very interested in making pedantic movies, though. Even ones that are at least loosely historical, as Inglorious Basterds was. This movie is as big and broad as that one was, showing off some of the enhanced level of scale and scope that Tarantino has employed since Kill Bill. Instead of teaching us about the evils of slavery or the suffering of slaves, Tarantino weaves his way through various watershed elements of that “world” with his customary irreverence and matter-of-fact treatment of the full spectrum of human barbarity.

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