Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver (2017)

If you like music, car chases and guns, you will like Baby Driver.

Image from The Telegraph

Edgar Wright must have been unable to shake the idea of his 2002 music video for Mint Royale’s Blue Song as Baby Driver shares much in common with it. However, Noel Fielding was replaced with Baby – a young man with a rocky past. Baby suffered from a car accident as a child which resulted in a constant ringing in his ears, hence why he listens to music every waking hour. Due to past mistakes, Baby has a debt to repay to crime boss Doc, but even when his debt is cleared he is unable to escape.
Baby Driver is a film I would describe as a Saturday-night-popcorn-munching film. It doesn’t take a lot of thought, it’s fast paced and exciting, and there’s a lot of things blowing up.

I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes for Baby Driver – even after reading so many raving reviews. As soon as I saw the trailer, I groaned. Ansel Elgort doesn’t have a résumé that impresses me and a film about a get-away driver sounded, well, boring. However, my prejudice was squashed. Elgort was able to break out of the “teen movie” stereotype – even impressing me with his performance – and Wright awed me with good old fashioned car chases and action.

However, I’m not left jumping with joy. Yes, Baby Driver was fun, exciting, exhilarating and touching, but I continue to feel as if something was missing. After days of pondering, I think I’ve finally got it.

Image from Teaser Trailer

I’m not certain if it was Wright’s intention, but I found myself constantly questioning whether Baby actually had a hearing impairment. From the way the character was acting and, judging the small pieces of information we were given about Baby’s past, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had two very capable, fully functioning ears.

Why do I think this? The flashbacks. These segments show the audience how Baby got his first iPod, how he already loved music due to his mother, and how Baby would listen to music while his parents fought. I believe it is a great possibility that Baby simply listens to music because that is how he was taught to cope with stressful situations; his music is his comfort blanket.

Why does this matter? you may be screaming. So what, right? It doesn’t affect the story in any way, does it? We still get to listen to awesome music throughout every scene, what does it matter if he doesn’t have a hearing impairment? Well, I personally found it difficult to trust Baby’s character due to my suspicions. I feel if Baby had come clean to his love interest, Debora (Lily James), then the story would have been enriched so much more. Plus, I would have found the love story to be far more compelling if such a bombshell had landed, as I personally found it difficult to understand why Debora agreed to run away with Baby – I mean surely she should be running away from a criminal? But hey, maybe I’m not romantic enough to understand.

Overall, Baby Driver is the perfect film to see if you want to get away from the world for a few hours – and even better if it’s a birthday treat (thank you boyfriend!). Fantastic action accompanied by brilliant music, what more can you ask for?

Thanks for reading my review but make sure you follow me on Twitter (@popcorncrunch) to catch every update! 

Image from The Fanboy Factor
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Wonderland

Birthdays have a funny habit of reappearing every year. 

And each year, the same panic arises: what present do I get them?

My family usually feel this strain the most as I never know what I want for my special day. However, this year Wonderland was coming to The King’s. What a perfect time to try something new, no?

Before taking my seat, I had assumed that Frank Wildhorn’s musical version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland would have a modern twist and would somehow have a dark edge due to this. After five minutes into the show, I realised I was exactly right.

Image from The Bolton News

Alice was no young girl who simply fell down a rabbit hole; she was a divorced mother who couldn’t handle the real world. Still helplessly in love with her emotionally abusive ex-partner, Alice relishes the thought of staying in Wonderland where real life problems won’t affect her. However, the goofy boy-next-door love interest and her far more mature daughter, Ellie, would not let her stay. Throughout the musical Alice learns she cannot live in the past and let her dreams continue to be dreams; she must face her reality and grow up.

So, yeah, maybe not dark enough to give your children nightmares, but dark enough to hit me in the heart. 

If I was to keep this review short and sweet (which if you’re a regular, you know will never happen) then I’d simply say, “If you want to start introducing your children to the musical genre, Wonderland is the perfect starting point.” It’s fast paced, packed with songs, and the humour characters’ possess is perfect for young minds. 

However, am I going to stop there? No.

Image from stagereview.co.uk

The start of the musical was so fast paced I felt I was struggling to keep up. We had barely met the three main characters before they were thrust into Wonderland (by an elevator by the way – I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about that) and then there was even less time before we were introduced to more wacky characters. The first half of the first act felt a bit mad, which I guess is fitting.

You could say that I’m becoming very picky in my old age, and studying story structure is making me a snob, and I’d have to agree. However, I do not believe that a musical targeted at children should face less criticism than any other musical. The structure of the story felt incredibly lost at the beginning of the show – as if there was too much to fit in – however by the intermission I could see the themes and characters unfold into a logical structure. 

Furthermore, I was incredibly disappointed by the costume design. All costumes and makeup felt undeniably amateur. As an avid Strictly fan, I love a good frock, and I was completely disappointed with what I saw.

Image from anorganisedmess.com

However, I felt the stage design was simple yet effective. Very simple changes were made yet it felt completely different. 

The actors and actresses involved also impressed me. Each conveyed their character well and effortlessly made me laugh – my star being Naomi Morris who played Alice’s daughter, Ellie. Her moody teenager continuously cracked me up. Furthermore, the songs were incredibly entertaining and the good singing that accompanied it made Wonderland a breeze to enjoy.

But, the big question remains. The question that determines the success of Wonderland: would I go see it again? Would I actively seek out tickets and fight for the best seats in the house? 

No. 

As I have alluded to throughout this review, if I was a mother with young children who loved Alice, I feel I’d be buying tickets again and again. However, as someone who was not the biggest fan to begin with, I don’t feel a pull to see it again. Does this mean Wonderland wasn’t an enjoyable experience – of course not! Did it ruin my birthday? Definitely not! 

But don’t be expecting it in My Top 5 Musicals.

Thank you for reading my review! Make sure to follow me on Twitter, @popcorncrunch, to keep up to date with new reviews!