So what did you think of the driving in this film?
Definitely, it's a different style of stunt driving than Fast and the Furious or say a James Bond style movie. I loved some of the action sequences just around the driving itself. You really got to hand off to the stunt drivers making Baby seem like a meticulous driver of unbelievable skill level. One of the craziest scenes is a garage racing scene going back to back, but the front car is doing the chase in reverse the whole time. How the hell did they film and drive that?
One of the amazing things that Edgar achieves in the movie is to have each scene have its own distinctive track, which resonates with the primary character of Baby, who is always wearing headphones and loves music. The music just comes alive with really inventive camera angles and sequences, where actors dance and the camera pulls you into the dance, dancing in its own swaying, which is innovative. I think the tracks will go down at the level of Tarantino level of a Pulp Fiction style. All the tracks groove and its all tracks you haven't seen in movies before, so that is really hard to achieve. There is also a bit of plot borrowing from Guardians of the Galaxy with the cassette tape, but even more in tune with the connection between son and mother.
Going into this movie I had low expectations as its a teen racing movie, right? The director really fills in each character quite well, which leads to various plot developments just based on the character personalities, histories and obsessions. They get a good explanation of how Baby, a car thief gets wrapped up in the world of bank robbery. Additionally, they reference why Baby became such a phenomenal driver. They are two love stories that get intertwined and show how Baby may end up in the future if he keeps going down the path of being a bank robbery driver vs. a normal life.
I think there is a great back story to each of the characters, some of whom are introduced briefly and others longer like Kevin Spacey's Doc or Jamie Fox as Bats. Doc acts as the brains of each operation, always moving with different gangs on each job, but insisting on Baby as the driver. This is in order to avoid being caught. The robber gangs are really gangsters lusting after the easy money with their own drug issues driving these habits.
The girlfriends actually drive the characters for good or evil. In Baby's case, Debora is kind of reeling him back towards the light while Darling is driving her man to vile acts based on jealousy. There is quite a bit of chemistry between the two actresses defining the age of the criminal paths each are on.
Was there any elements you would change in the movie?
Yes, one really annoying thing is the graffiti. Being a curator of Kings of Graf on Flickr, I would rate this as a do-over in some sections. You could tell which areas are movie sets and which are authentic sites, just on the graffiti. The rest of the set is fine visually except this element. In some areas, the graffiti is too clean on prominent buildings to be believable, while in other scenes next to metal garbage dumpsters you have the LEGIT thing. This is just crass mixing the too, but likely the director has seen way less graffiti than I and the movie has no graffiti artists in the plot, so this is acceptable to most audiences.
Have you ever done any fast driving yourself?
Well, never as a bank robber driver. In Germany, I used to commute to school 3 hours on German and Begium. It was a 5 hour commute done in 3 by driving at 10pm to 1am avoiding all the traffic and literally driving the pedal to the metal of the floor pan, basically 80 to 100 MPH legally. Definitely a great time. I did have a close call once almost driving into the back of a semi racing through construction area. After that I was way more careful driving.