Running Time: 113 minutes.
Terri White, Empire reviewer, states: “Baby Driver is one of the most utterly original films in years”, and attributes 5 stars.
The majority of reviewers give ratings 4+ out of 5, with descriptions like stylish, exciting, killer soundtrack (Rotten Tomatoes); and Luke Buckmaster (Daily Review), “Baby Driver is the sort of rarity that grumps such as myself often complain Hollywood doesn’t make any more. Which is to say: a genuine original.”
What makes this movie so original? Baby Driver is, in-essence, a musical through the lens of an action thriller. Right from the opening sequence the audience is entranced with an impeccably choreographed, as-close-to-a-car-chase-opera as you’ll ever see; and the entire film delights in a similar vein.
Baby Driver is the brainchild of Edgar Wright, who, after releasing four other films, presents us with his first solo outing as writer and director.
Whilst there is a backdrop of gentleness, vulnerability and comedy in the romance between Baby (Ansel Elgort) and waitress, Deborah (Lily James), and in the relationship between Baby and his elderly and deaf ‘Pops’, the focus of this film is around car-chases, criminal activity and action, seen through Baby’s eyes.
We learn as a young child, Baby was in a car accident in which both his parents died, consequently leaving Baby suffering with tinnitus. The noises in Baby’s head are relieved by the constant listening to music – via ear buds connected to various ipods full of Baby’s favourite tunes.
Baby is indebted to Doc (Kevin Spacey) for a passed transgression, and job-by-job Baby is paying back his dues by being Doc’s getaway driver, however, it becomes evident Doc has no intention of letting Baby go when his debt is paid, “I said we were straight, but did you think we were done?” “So what’s it going to be? Behind the wheel? Or in a wheelchair?”
Music is so completely enmeshed into Baby’s life that he times the robbery getaways to music beats and sometimes makes mixes from secret recordings of gang members’ conversations. Music is the driving force of this movie, and as an audience member, it is clever, delights and adds another dimension.
Baby is an awkward fit within Doc’s ciminal crews, and whilst Doc is cool and malevolent, he is also protective and paternal to Baby – having Baby’s back with the dynamic supporting criminal characters, inclusive of Buddy (John Hamm), an ex-Wall Street businessman who has run off with his favourite stripper, Darling (Eiza Gonzalez); and Bats (Jamie Foxx), a nihilistic and insightful career thief.
Don’t miss this film.
Rarely is a violent, action thriller so original, clever and utterly engrossing.
Without a doubt, 4-plus stars.