Edgar Wright’s 5th film shows no signs of his fast-paced style slowing down anytime soon. Thanks to his kinetic direction, he keeps Baby Driver in high gear and never drops the pace due to some well written and performed characters.
We centre on a getaway driver called Baby (Ansel Elgort), whom due to an automobile accident when he was younger, plays music to drown out a permanent hearing problem. Here in ties the main gimmick of the film, where all the action is set to what kind of music he’s listening to. Every bullet fired is played to the beat of one of the many classic songs Edgar Wright has thrown in, which also serves up the love story as equally entertaining between Baby and Debora (Lily James). It’s tied in so well, that you can’t help but tap your foot along with it until the credits roll.
The action scenes alone are worth the price of admission. The highlight being the opening chase, as we get a taste of what’s to be expected of Baby and his bopping to the beat of dodging bullets and burning rubber.
Newcomer Ansel Elgort gives Baby a cool slick, and vulnerable edge that plays well opposite the more hardened characters, especially Jamie Foxx’s Bats, in a performance the actor is not normally known for. Whenever Foxx enters the room, you feel as if something bad is going to happen, mostly because, eventually it does. Also along for the ride is Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), to round out the bank robbing team. But the real backbone of the group is Kevin Spacey’s character Doc, who sets up the jobs and gets them paid. It’s easy to see that Spacey loves Wright’s screenplay and relishes every word of dialogue he’s given.
But the real star of Baby Driver is the director himself. Every shot is so well framed and thought out, that you feel like he’s having a little too much fun. The man clearly loves movies as much as he loves making them, as he creates a scene with Baby simply getting a round of coffees, into a work of choreographed genius that any musical would be proud to have as theirs.
It’s without a doubt that Baby Driver will be sitting in the top ten lists by the year’s end as it’s not only highly entertaining, but stylistically one of the most original films to hit cinemas in a while. You could almost call it an action/musical if there is such a genre. And if there isn’t, there is now.
When Edgar Wright wanted Ansel Elgort to be more stern in a shot he used the code words: “Man Driver!” He taught him the “Kubrick look” by showing Ansel a picture on his phone of Malcolm McDowell in character in A Clockwork Orange (1971).
Deserted Island Movie Collection: The Films of Martin Scorsese
Best Movie Snack: Honey Soy Chicken Potato Chips and a 6 pack.