Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright
Cinematographer: Bill Pope
Music by: Steven Price
Running time: 117 minutes
Cast: Ansel Elgort (Baby), Jon Bernthal (Griff), Jon Hamm (Buddy), Elza Gonzalez (Darling), Lily James (Debora), Kevin Spacey (Doc)
They call him Baby. B-A-B-Y, that is how you spell the main characters name in Edgar Wright’s thriller, Baby Driver. Ansel Elgort plays the reserved Baby, a getaway driver prodigy who relies on his sprawling playlists and blocky iPod to gear up for the situations. He needs to listen to his music to tune out his tinnitus, which he got from a car accident he had years before. Baby also records different conversations and mixes them into songs like a music producer (I would add the song he creates in the movie, it is a banger). Baby looks after his deaf foster father, one of the only people in the world he cares for. Doc asks Baby to do one last job for him, after that, they would be even. As with the case with other “last job” films, it is never actually their last job.
The script in Baby Driver was exceptional. Almost all of the characters in it had purpose and motivation in the film. There was reasoning behind Baby’s use of an old iPod and also why he hoards tapes. Every flashback that Baby had was useful in helping with his backstory. The movie was very funny, every single character had a few funny moments.
Before Baby Driver, I could not recall seeing Ansel Elgort in any movie that I’ve seen (I know he was in the Fault in Our Stars). He played the silent type perfectly. As the film went on, I started to understand why he was silent. He had a traumatic childhood and he lost his parents in a car accident. While he didn’t have the usual lines of dialogue for a leading character, he was written that way. Baby let his driving do all the talking. As for the other members of the cast, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm were all good. Spacey is good in every single film or show that he is in. Foxx’s character however, was a bit annoying. Sometimes he was funny, but other times it seemed like he had no motivation for what he was doing.
One of the best parts about Baby Driver was the amazing music selection. Every song that was played in the film went perfectly with its corresponding scene. The music was extremely important in the film because it showed what Baby’s mindset was at the time. Wright even decided to synchronize the music with some occurrences in the film and it was an innovative way to integrate it in (example: gun shots coordinated with the beat). The soundtrack highlighted a huge variety of music tastes, there should be a song for every person watching Baby Driver.
The last 20 minutes of the film were not spectacular in my opinion. I didn’t like the cliched ending action scene, it was bland compared to the rest of the movie. I know I am not going into much detail, but I do not want to spoil anything.
In this time of reboots and remakes, the audience needs fresh takes on different genres of film. Baby Driver is one of the most original movies I’ve seen in years (Mad Max: Fury Road and Get Out are some other examples). We need more directors like Edgar Wright who are willing to take chances in their films. I would also like to see a renaissance of car chase movies after watching Baby Driver. It was a joy to watch.