Director: Edgar Wright
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Eiza González, Jon Bernthal, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx
Running Time: 113 mins
Release Date: 28/06/2017
The car chase heist movies to end all car chase heist movies. Edgar Wright brings a genre back into the limelight with a screech and a tail spin. A clear affection and love of the 70’s and 80’s car chase sequences, Wright charismatic filmic style transfers perfectly, from the likes of Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, World’s End, Scott Pilgrim vs The World into Baby Driver: surely the platform to higher places. This is a contender for film of the year, and some of the most enjoyable minutes spent in a cinema for quite some time. It’s hella fun, frantic and the perfect date night movie to keep all crowds happy. Baby Driver is a film out of its time, here in 2017 to change the course we’ve written in terms of what is acceptable popcorn-eating cinema and what is trash #BabyDriverHype.
Ansel Elgort plays the title Baby, an experienced, but younger getaway driver of skill and talent. A man of little words, only the ones he needs to know, sporting headphones and blaring music that plays his own soundtrack to his life and his driving. It’s his gimmick, in a world of criminals and crooks, that he listens to music to facilitate his actions, leading into certain songs during heists and having to restart if not happy. The use of diegetic music here, seamlessly fading from one song to the next, with every sound affecting the action on screen, and the incredible editing work: it’s refreshing, highly appreciated and keeps a fantastic pace going that Wright is known for.
Baby is set about by Doc, played effortlessly by the scene stealing Kevin Spacey, playing a crime overlord who sets up teams of 4 to rob and steal in Atlanta. From banks to post offices, it’s a bad scene, filled with the likes of Jon Berthnal, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Eiza Gonzalez, with silly code names, their own tragic gimmicks, it’s characters set Baby on the spectrum of a good guy in a bad scene. Only because of his deal with Doc to pay back money he stole, it’s the final jobs left before he’s “free” that he meets Lily James‘s Debora, a waitress working in a diner, that he sets about changing his route. The connection and chemistry between these two is normally a weakness for action films, but it’s heart-felt and hits home when it does.
The acting across the board is stellar, each bringing their fun A-game to proceedings, especially Jamie Foxx who loves to play a real scumbag, and does it so well. Jon Hamm is a brilliant stand out within the pack of great acting, and you want to see more of him. But the star is Ansel. It’s his show, and dropping away from the roles he’s played before, he’s a cool guy here, which should see him push into different roles for him apart from the teenage romance films he’s done before. He plays a James Dean coolness that helps Baby be a very likeable character, helping his deaf elderly foster father, smooching Debora with his brand of suave and trying to do right by Doc.
Constant car chases, foot chases, just moments of fun, on set-work, no CGI and green screen work, the love and passion for real full-throttle moments is a blast from the past and shows how far removed Hollywood is. Relying on cheaper, easier versions that lose that edge and realness that keeps it high octane, this for me is the movie of the summer that’ll be hard to beat. If you aren’t already streaming or downloading the soundtrack, trust me, you will be by the time of end credits roll.