A movie about a getaway driver who has tinnitus may not sound like a brilliant idea but it might just leave you surprised.
Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a young man who constantly listens to music in order to drown out his tinnitus – including when he drives. He works as a getaway driver for Doc (Kevin Spacey), a crime boss who plans and recruits dangerous criminals for lucrative heists. Baby, being the odd one out in the group, is forced into working with them to pay off an “old debt” to Doc after he crossed his path when he stole his car.
You know you’re in for a treat from the opening car chase sequence when the song Bellbottoms starts. Luckily Baby Driver doesn’t start to disappoint once the scene ends. Unlike many other movies, there are no lackluster moments in between action segments because those are packed with groovy sounds, vibrant backdrops (let’s appreciate the graffiti art) and quick turnover of fascinating characters. These elements keep the story well paced and entertaining throughout most of its running time.
The high octane action paired with violence and skillfully choreographed car chases do increase steadily as the story progresses which creates an exhilarating and intense ride for viewers. Edgar Wright doesn’t make the same error as some other directors when it comes to high speed chase choreography – Baby Driver stays firmly in the realistic lane when it comes to those stunts.
Music is undeniably an integral part of the story which meant Wright had to get the right songs to fit his vision. Getting permissions from artist such as Queen, Blur, The Beach Boys, Barry White and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion to be featured in his film wouldn’t have been an easy task, but he managed to do so and the film is all the more richer and stylish for it.
There is nothing negative one could say about the actors involved because each of them deliver a brilliant performance with what they got. Eiza Gonzalez (Dusk Till Dawn) plays Darling, a gun-toting criminal who found her soulmate in the equally dangerous Buddy, played by Jon Hamm (Mad Man). His performance in the last quarter is savage and bloody. Jamie Foxx is intense as Bats, a despicable bad guy who really lacks a conscience. Kevin Spacey’s character doesn’t physically partake in any heists but he is just as menacing as the rest. He also happen to deliver some of the wittiest dialogue. Ansel Elgort’s Baby is the major character in the film which he seemingly took on with ease – his physique and abilities (he is a singer and dancer too) fit the part perfectly.
The movie is not without its faults. Lily James plays the role of Deborah, who has very limited character development even though she plays Baby’s girlfriend. Her sole purpose in the story seems to be just to get him to finally want to leave his “career”. She also ties in with the rushed ending which skims through a number of important elements and years only to end in a neatly tied up conclusion. I can’t help but think the last five minutes could have been better thought out.
Other than some minor issues, Baby Driver is undoubtedly one the coolest and finest movies that has come out this year. It’s a must watch if you love the genre.
I rate it 8.5/10
Baby Driver hits cinemas tomorrow.