Music. It can enhance, accentuate, or transform. Writer/director Edgar Wright uses it to his advantage in Baby Driver. He’s made a film where music permeates every nook and cranny of his stylish, fun, and thoroughly entertaining new action/thriller.
Baby is a getaway driver, but not exactly by choice. After he thinks he’s done, he discovers that just isn’t the way it works. So he find himself taking part in a heist that is doomed to fail.
Indeed Edgar Wright wrote Baby Driver with the intent of exploring the fantasy of what it might be like to be a getaway driver. And then, what if you could set that life to a soundtrack of your own making.
Such is the story of Baby, the driver in question. Baby is played by Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars), and though there isn’t much in the way of explaining his character’s name, I have to imagine it’s that baby face of his. He looks young for a 23 year old, but he can brood like nobody’s business. Equally, though, he’s light on his feet and has a goofy charm about him.
Baby doesn’t talk much. He almost always has headphones in his ears. An accident as a child has given him tinnitus – a constant ringing in his ears – so listening to music drowns it out. And there we have a superb way of making music a major factor in the film, as well as providing solid emotional back story for Baby.
But music isn’t just in the soundtrack – which is great (I actually downloaded it right after seeing the film). It’s in the way Baby moves about in the world – almost like a dance. It’s in the way Wright shoots these car chases.
And in the practical context, you can see what’s happening. None of that overly shaky camera work where everything is a blur. And the car chases are fantastic- especially the one early on in the film.
The cast is awesome, with Kevin Spacey as Doc, the boss who hires the teams for the jobs. Jon Hamm is Buddy, who is at his charming yet threatening best. Eiza Gonzalez is Darling, Buddy squeeze, and Jon Bernthal is great as a cocky member of one of the teams.
Jamie Foxx is excellent as Bats, one member who doesn’t quite like Baby. Lily James is lovely and has a breezy way about her as Baby’s love interest, Debora, who’s singing caught his attention.
Baby is sort of the decent guy stuck in a bad situation. But they don’t completely eschew the reality of a persons consequences either. But most of all, Baby Driver is a stylish, if not a little hipster-ish, fun action/thriller. And as you might expect with an Edgar Wright film, there are some laughs to be had as well.
I thought Baby Driver was chock full o’fun. I would heartily recommend it. Solid four kittenhands from me. Go out and see this one. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, wanting to see more films by Edgar Wright.