Film Review: Baby Driver (2017)

Director: Edgar Wright

Writer: Edgar Wright

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lilly James, Jon Hamm

Synopsis: Baby (Elgort), finished with paying back the debt he owes Doc (Spacey), looks forward to a quiet life with his new girlfriend. But when he’s called back to drive for a job one more time, things don’t work out quite the way he hopes.

It seems such a simple concept – a getaway driver is asked to do one more job, but things don’t go the way they should. But then you throw in the fact that the getaway driver in question is Baby (Ansel Elgort), who suffers from tinnitus, giving him a permanent ringing in his ears, which he deals with by permanently playing music. And then add in the fact that this is written and directed by Edgar Wright. You know you’re going to get something different.

Baby uses the music not just to keep the tinnitus at bay, but also as a way of getting through life. He literally moves to the music, and the rhythms of the music help him drive in a balletic fashion whilst avoiding the police.

The first few minutes feel like a thriller / more violent version of La La Land, and it works surprisingly well. Other car chases and shoot-outs are choreographed in a similar fashion, with gun shots, punches, destruction all taking place on the correct beats of a song.

Despite the shoot-outs and car chases, at its heart Baby Driver is about a sweet young guy who fell in with a bad crowd and is trying to make his way out of it. He just wants to take his new girlfriend (Lilly James) for a long drive with their music in a car they can’t afford. But his boss Doc has other ideas, not letting him go so easily.

With great performances all round, absurdly choreographed chase sequences and enough humour to stop the whole thing from getting too dark, Baby Driver is likely the action movie of the year.

 

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