Baby Driver is written and directed by Edgar Wright, previously of Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. With Wright at the helm and with an all-star cast, the movie has been subject to a lot of hype over the past couple of months, and thankfully it doesn’t disappoint.
The film follows Baby (Ansel Elgort), a highly skilled driver whose partial deafness means he listens to music all the time to drown out the ringing in his ears. Whilst carrying out getaways to work off a debt owed to the dangerous mobster, Doc (Kevin Spacey), Baby meets waitress Debora (Lily James) and the two quickly fall for one another. Things take a turn for the worst though when Doc sets up a job for Baby with an unstable crew consisting of Bats (Jamie Foxx), Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eiza González). Forced into a difficult situation, Baby takes action in an attempt to regain control of his life.
From start to finish Baby Driver has a fantastic soundtrack. Whilst with most films this would normally be a secondary feature, with Baby Driver it is the centrepiece of the film, with the soundtrack at times dictating the mood, the action and the performances. Car doors slamming, gunshots, tires screeching and more are all synced up with whatever’s playing on one of Baby’s many iPods, through brilliant editing, which really gives the film a unique feel and flow. At times, the film feels like a new spin on a musical, with the soundtrack and on-screen action blending so seamlessly.
Edgar Wright’s signature film style is present throughout with some great scenes showing off the director’s ability. The opening title sequence, in particular, consisting of one long tracking shot, is very well executed. Also present are the director’s quick camera cuts, which are not only effective for humour but also add to the intensity of the film’s many car chases, all of which are extremely impressive. There are some great stunts throughout with much of the film looking to be practical effects whilst any CGI has been incorporated very smoothly.
Baby Driver’s ensemble of A-list actors all put in great performances. Ansel Elgort is likeable yet understated, telling much of what’s going on in Baby’s head through looks rather than words. The supporting cast is also great, with the stand out performers being Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm. Foxx brings much of the film’s humour despite his character’s unhinged nature, whilst Hamm is consistently charismatic. Kevin Spacey as well is a commanding presence when on-screen and seems to dictate nearly every scene he’s in.
Story-wise Baby Driver is a fun ride. Despite some more intense scenes in the final act, the film is generally light-hearted and funny. Baby is almost comic-book-like with regards to his exceptional driving abilities and the added characteristics of his partial deafness as well as tragic backstory make him a very interesting protagonist. The film also has its touching moments. Baby’s relationship with his deaf foster parent Joseph (CJ Jones) is a charming one and some of Debora and Baby’s shared scenes later in the film are a welcome break from the otherwise enthralling action.
Baby Driver is one of the best original action movies released this summer and, so far, has set the standard for the blockbuster season. A fun, action-packed thrill ride, it is a great film which has been brilliantly put together by director Edgar Wright. Baby Driver‘s wonderfully incorporated soundtrack and upbeat tone make it a must-see.
Verdict: A real fun watch with great performances, a brilliantly used soundtrack and fantastic direction.
9 out of 10 cigars
Baby Driver, directed by Edgar Wright, is distributed in the UK by Sony Pictures, Certificate 15