MOVIE REVIEW: Baby Driver

Action movie starring Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Ansel Elgort, Lily James, and Jon Bernthal.  A master criminal who never works with the same people every job has stuck with his young driver, called Baby, for two reasons.  Baby owes him a tonne of cash, and he’s the best driver that anyone can hope for.  When Baby gets close to paying off the debt he owes the criminal he starts to hope that he can have a normal life with Debora, a waitress he loves.  Baby suffers from tinnitus and has to wear headphones, and listens to various music depending on the situation.  He wants out of the criminal life but he’s too good for them to let go.

When the summer starts and we get the large explosions and a lot of shooting there is often a film that comes along where it seems that they are obeying the rules of summer blockbuster.  Films like Speed and Rush Hour, the first of both, they never made sequels, are prime examples of this.  Yes they have the guns and the explosions but they have slightly more heart, slightly more charm than your usual pointless explosion fest.

Baby Driver comes into the head of that pack.  Faster than the furious, cooler soundtrack than Guardians, and an almost complete package when it comes to a movie you want to watch time and time again.  Director/Writer Edgar Wright steps behind the camera and gives us one of the unique summer movies that just knocks it out of the park.  He brings together a collection of performers that you know, and characters that you get to know instantly, while still offering the thrills and spills that you want in a summer film.  The set up is that Baby, Ansel Elgort, is a former car thief who stole for fun rather than profit.  He owes big boss Kevin Spacey, and it’s just amazing to see Spacey having fun on-screen again, and is about to pay him off.  The other criminals around him either accept that he rarely speaks or have a deep problem with it.  The bank jobs and the driving are second place to developing character but they are given their due respect so you feel you are not being cheated out of anything.

The romance between Ansel and Lily is awkward and yet believable, it’s a young love trying to kick off in dangerous circumstances type of story.  Lily James is fine in her role, but it’s all really Ansel’s show.  He doesn’t want to be profiting from the crimes, he just wants to live a peaceful life, and once you understand that from this character then you’ll understand the film more.

The Soundtrack of this film for me is the best of the year, it’s all older songs that you will know, as they have been sampled in nearly every popular songs of the last twenty years and placed in the right time during the film.  The choreography between the music and the motion in the film is just outstanding, not just in the action sequences, throughout the film and in particular the opening title sequence.  Wright knows how to make a film no one can deny that now.

Where I thought the film lacked the final punch is the final scenes of the film, you question which ending that they were going for and it tests your love of the rest of the film if you can forgive the slightly, ever so slightly, muddled feeling to the resolution of the film.  It’s a small thing but it had to be said.

Baby Driver, you may scoff at the name, but you will find that it’s probably the coolest movie of the summer and I for one will run out and buy the CD of the soundtrack on its release.  Get out and see this with some friends.

Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright
Stars: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Eiza González, Jamie Foxx

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