I could simply tell you that Baby Driver is awesome and that you should go see it right now, and I could just stop there. End of review: 5/5.
But… I’ll give ya a little more than that.
Baby, the titular driver of the film, suffers from tinnitus brought on by an accident he suffered as a kid. As a result, he constantly wears ear buds from various ipods to drown out the ringing. He also does this to pump himself up when he’s the getaway driver for a series of crimes. The crimes are organized by Kevin Spacey (who’s playing a part he could do in his sleep, but that doesn’t mean he’s not awesome to watch). Spacey’s character makes it a rule to use different crews for different jobs, but Baby is his constant—his good luck charm.
After completing one last owed job to Spacey, Baby meets a local diner waitress named Deborah. Just as it looks like his relationship and life are about to begin, Spacey brings him in for yet another… one last job.
Those are the basics of the plot, but it’s not what makes the movie special. It’s the little details. Wright is the kind of director who fills his films with wonderful small moments—a propulsive edit and small background pieces that make the movie more and more rewarding on rewatch. The entire opening credits are so much fun as Baby walks to get coffee in a very impressive single take with lyrics to the song he’s listening to popping up in the background.
And there is no way to talk about this film without talking about the soundtrack. Simply put, it’s amazing and incredibly diverse. The film is wall-to-wall music. Music is so pervasive that the few times there’s no music, it stands out (deliberately so). It’s the kind of film that in the 90s would have gotten two CD releases (Think your Romeo + Juliets, and Trainspottings). I feel that, much like Guardians, if people see this movie in droves then this soundtrack could become a big deal. But it’s not just good music for the sake of good music. It’s music often used to define a character—not just Baby, but also Deborah and the people in his crew.
It’s a simple story told very very well. Everything about it just works.
The cast is great, Jamie Foxx is the kind of villain you want in this film: you never know what he might do next. Jon Hamm does a wonderful job as the guy who acts like a friend. From the bottom to the top, the cast is doing good work; especially the central couple. Fact is, these two play the type of character you can see young people really falling for. Lily James is incredibly likable. And it’d be easy to dismiss Ansel Elgort as Baby, but hopefully audiences can see his mastery in this film. He doesn’t speak much, and most of the role is just staring blankly or dancing to music, but that’s actually very hard to pull off. And “pull off,” he does.
Baby Driver is wonderful to look at, the romance is very sweet and cute without feeling cloying, and the action is just fantastic. Frankly, if they released this as a GTA movie, I’d buy it—there’s a lot of huge explosions and cop chases.
I’m glad Wright made something original though.
To some extent it’s a crime power fantasy: someone who can drive fast, listen to great music, and fall in love with a beautiful girl all while looking really cool doing it. But like a good crime power fantasy, we see the downside, and Baby, as opposed to someone like Henry Hill in Goodfellas, does not want this life.
Bottom line, go to the theater, sit back, and enjoy the ride that is Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver.
What did you think Thumpers? Did you like it? Agree or disagree? You buying this soundtrack? What songs do you like driving to? Let me know @Jurassicalien and be sure to tag HyperRPG as well!