After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
A ‘car chase musical’ is a strange description for a movie, but that’s pretty much what Edgar Wright’s thrillingly entertaining latest movie ‘Baby Driver’ is. It’s a film that sets a killer soundtrack to car chase sequences, much in the same way a musical would set music to dance, and I was hugely impressed with not only how it was put together, but by just how fun that approach turned out to be. The film follows our protagonist who likes to be known as ‘Baby’ (Ansel Elgort), a highly skilled getaway driver who constantly listens to music to drown out a serious case of tinnitus, which he suffered as a kid. He’s been working for crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey) for several years to work off a debt and as we join him in the film, he’s got one last job to complete before he can move on to a more mundane, but undoubtedly safer existence. Let’s just say Edgar Wright and pretty much everyone else has watched enough movies to know Baby isn’t going to exactly sail off into the sunset, and the film picks up from here.
The plot of the film is secondary to the craftsmanship on display but it still moves along nicely, strengthened by the strong characters in the ensemble that Baby can bounce off. Baby is a fairly blank slate, even with a bit of backstory and a romantic angle thrown in, so it’s a lot of fun seeing the likes of Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm really let loose to add a lot of colour to proceedings (both are excellent). Elgort is a good young actor and he anchors things well, coming off just suave and forthright enough that we can believe he operates in such a dangerous world, but also barely concealing the demons hiding under the surface. He’s also very good at the musical numbers, if we can call them that, and lets off an air of cool that serves both the character and the film well.
The real star of the show is of course Edgar Wright, who really brings a premise that sounds kind of hokey on paper to life in really fun and interesting ways. The film is superbly put together and brilliantly edited, with the music expertly combined with the movements of the car and the characters to achieve some kind of unusual blend between the operatic stylings of a musical and the pulp nature of the premise. It’s a homage to the great car chases of movies past but Edgar Wright isn’t merely interested in aping them alone; he wants to take that basis and do something original and he succeeds wildly with ‘Baby Driver’. If there are any complaints to be had, the ending is indulged a little and could have benefited from some restraint, but it’s a minor complaint in a terrific film that utilises all the cinematic tools at its disposal to craft a truly original and memorable experience.
‘Baby Driver’ is an excellently crafted movie, both technically and in entertainment terms, with a superb soundtrack and a really funny script, but most importantly, it’s a hell of a lot of fun and I had an absolute blast watching it.
Directed By: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Flea and Sky Ferreira
[…] missing this list: Baby Driver, The Big Sick, Elle, A Ghost Story, Lady Macbeth, Only the Brave, War for the Planet of the […]