Best WRX Commercial Ever: BABY DRIVER / by Brenna Proczko

It came out the day after my birthday; that's probably a sign.

It came out the day after my birthday; that's probably a sign.

As I mentioned to Roche, if I made movies (who knows? maybe I will someday on accident!) they would probably have some heavy-handed soundtrack tie-ins. So while the opening sequence, which is the best commercial for the Subaru WRX ever made (and I'm including Grand Turismo 3 in that category), is a very fucking stellar opening sequence, complete with windshield wipers swiping on-beat, it cannot compare to the thrill I felt watching the next scene. Created as one long tracking shot, it's timed perfectly to "The Harlem Shuffle" including dialogue, sound effects, street graffiti with the lyrics, and some smooth little sidesteps by Baby (Ansel Elgort). It's basically how I want to live my life - not in a musical where I have to sing, but one where everything is on time, honey. 

I recommend reading this Rolling Stone interview with director Edgar Wright - he mentions not only how various scenes were choreographed, but also how he found and picked the music. I was impressed at how many songs I knew (or, nearly knew: the "Harlem Shuffle" you hear up top is the 1966 full version by Bob & Earl, not the version by The Rolling Stones or just the sample you know from "Jump Around"). They save the title track for the end, but that's two-for-two on recent movies named for Paul Simon songs (the other, of course, being Obvious Child, which is amazing in a totally different way). 

My quibbles include the lack of lady people (one sexy heist honey, one sweet dreamgirl, also a dead mom and a few character witnesses) and the violence (which was at times shocking and a little excessive). I'm willing to overlook these issues, as well as Jon Hamm's haircut, in lieu of the fact that this is a really great movie otherwise. Besides having echoes of Steve McQueen and Motown, there are also reminders of the work of Rian Johnson (#brothersbloomforever) and Tom Hanks (#thatthingyoudosometimes). Plus Kevin Spacey gets to say, "Shop. Let's talk it." And that sound editing. God damn, it's a piece of work.