Baby Driver (no, this is not the latest Pixar film) stars Ansel Elgort as a gifted getaway driver who works for crime boss, Doc (Kevin Spacey). Baby, as he is called, is paying off a debt to Doc and no matter what the heist is, Baby is who you want driving the getaway vehicle. But Baby wants out and is down to his last job, or so he thinks. But who is playing who and Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver will have you guessing all the way to the end. This is one special film and one of the best films of the year.
I had looked at Rotten Tomatoes rating for Baby Driver and for the second time this year, I was not only surprised at how much I enjoyed Baby Driver but how it exceeded my expectations of enjoyment. The other film was Get Out. These are two films, I thought I might enjoy but was afraid they were overhyped. Not the case with either film. Although Get Out might be a harder sell to some, that is not the case for Baby Driver. Baby Driver takes a tired plot and turns it into something refreshingly original, fun, clever and, dare I say, sweet.
Ansel Elgort as Baby gives a star-making performance. He is a good kid caught in a bad situation. He came from an abusive father but a loving mother, all three of whom were in a horrific car crash when Baby was a young boy. Suffering an ear injury that produces a constant ringing in his ears, Baby drowns it out with music. With iPods loaded with music, Baby does everything in life with music. It is his faithful companion, so to speak and has never let him down. When he is not driving, he takes care of his foster father, Joesph, who is a blind. Joseph may be blind but he knows Baby is into some bad stuff with some bad people and tries to reason with him on getting out. Baby does get out but for a very short time.
Baby then meets Debora (a simply wonderful performance by Lily James) and she is a lovely, perpetually happy server at the local diner Baby hangs out at. She is like Baby in a lot of ways most notably is her love of music, as well. They hit off almost immediately and make a very sweet couple. Elgort and James have amazing chemistry and light up the screen. You want to see these two make it out. As the film becomes more serious, Joseph and Deborah are pawns that Baby realizes are going to be in danger as the walls begin to close in around Baby. His options and time are running out so he must make his move to get out, now or he won’t make it, either.
Baby Driver was directed by Edgar Wright who has created his finest film, to date. He wrote the screenplay as well, which bristles with intelligent and interesting dialogue and the characters he has created are terrific fun. There is not a dull character in this entire film and the acting is tremendous. The editing team of Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss have done a masterful job cutting this film together. Their attention to details along with their sound department to incorporate everyday sounds into the music of Baby Driver makes this film all the more interesting. Gunshots, doors slamming shut, windshield wipers scraping on glass, you name it, they have blended ambient sounds as part of the music in Baby’s world. The cinematography of Bill Pope (who has lensed Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and At World’s End) is lovely to admire, filled with color and life that jumps off of the screen.
The cinematography of Bill Pope (who has lensed Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and At World’s End) is lovely to admire, filled with color and life that jumps off of the screen.The music of Baby Driver is essential and the songs they have picked are perfect for this film. The score by Steven Price is sparse, but what he has composed is a perfect fit. I will also add that the action of Baby Driver is amazing. The car chases are shot practically and there is virtually no CGI which makes the chase sequences all the more exhilarating.
Writer and director Edgar Wright has created his masterpiece in Baby Driver. In a career that has seen very few duds, this film stands out as his best work and looking at his resume, that is saying something. Only At World’s End stands out as not one of his finer films and that is only because the final act was so silly. There is nothing silly about Baby Driver. This film is the most fun I have had in a long time at the movies.
Baby Driver – ***** out of 5
Baby Driver – Rated R for language, graphic violence and adult situations
Baby Driver – Run Time is 113 minutes
Baby Driver is now playing in theaters. Check your local listings for times and locations.