Director: Edgar Wright
Runtime: 112 minutes
When you go to see an Edgar Wright film there are a few things that we have come to expect. Fantastic cinematography, clever little Easter eggs, comedic driven cuts and of course, a wicked soundtrack are all things an Edgar Wright movie makes. Baby Driver, his latest effort, has all these elements and combined. A phenomenal cast and unique story has produced one of the coolest movies of 2017.
Baby Driver tells the tale of a getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Egort) who drives for a crime syndicate organised by Doc (Kevin Spacey). For various reasons, Baby is working off a debt that he owes Doc and drives different crews filled with an assortment of devilish characters as they pull off heists. What makes Baby unique is not only his phenomenal driving skills but also, after a childhood accident left him with Tinnitus, constantly playing music is the only way to alleviate the ringing in his ears.
Baby is a classic character, a good natured kid who has accidentally been tangled up in a world of crime. While he loves driving, he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. He is constantly hiding his sweet persona from his coworkers– a side we see when he’s dancing in his living room in front of his frail foster father. Deborah (Lily James), a waitress in a diner with an infectiously happy demeanour, also let’s out his sweet side–their relationship becoming more dangerous as time goes by.
Now that you’re familiar with the plot, let me just say how ridiculously cool this film is. From the opening scene you are captivated by the sharpness of the cinema work, the synchronised music/visual combos, and the ever familiar feeling of just jamming out to a killer track in a car. I for one have never really been a car person. In fact, I have never really felt engaged in car chases in any film. However, Baby Driver has some truly stunning driving sequences. Here, less is more– there are very little cuts and glaring CGI to distract us from their action.
Speaking of the cast, they all did a truly remarkable job of bringing these characters to life. I’d not seen Ansel in much of his previous work but he really brought a fun balance to being a mysterious figure and then a fun-loving-dancing-singing-music-man. Lily James is infectiously entrancing and her good nature is a shining light in a cavalcade of nefarious characters. Jamie Foxx, Eiza González, Jon Hamm and Jon Bernthal really do make bad look cool.
Wright is one of the directors who has carved out his own niche. When you see a scene you automatically recognise that it is one of his creations. Baby Driver has all the hallmarks of a Edgar Wright film and it shows how he is mastering his craft. There is one tracking shot, unedited, where Baby dances and mimes to a song down a city street. Graffiti is mimics the song’s lyrics, and its a cinematic moment that you just enjoy its existence. Not to mention, the soundtrack is sure to be one that is ‘Spotified’ the moment you leave the cinema.
Baby Driver is one of those movies that you just can’t help but love. Edgar Wright has been mulling over this idea since a 2002 music video for Mint Royale’s ‘Blue Song’, which he briefly nods to with a fleeting glimpse of Noel Fielding in the film. You can tell this has been a project he has always been thinking about. This film looks, sounds and feels polished, and its a hell of a lot of fun. The only danger in buying a ticket is the feeling you will get when starting your car on the drive home.