At first glance you might be as confused by the title as I was. This film is NOT about babies driving cars, and it is NOT a coming of age golfing story. Baby Driver is literally about a driver named Baby. If you have not seen this movie, stop reading this, hop skip and jump over to your nearest movie theater and enjoy the incredible spectacle Director Edgar Wright provides. Baby Driver is the stylish, original, and handmade addition to the heist genre that we didn’t even know we needed.
Ansel Elgort = Baby
Lily James = Debora
Jon Hamm = Buddy
Jamie Foxx = Bats
Kevin Spacy = Doc
The opening scene is one of the best openings movie goers have witnessed this year. It starts out with a 90s rock car chase with long takes and incredible stunts. Right from the beginning you are thrown into the lap of Baby who is a getaway driver for bank robbers. You also quickly learn about Baby’s tinnitus which leaves a constant ringing noise in his ears. The way he drowns out the noise is through various iPod’s in which he has managed to store some of the greatest songs of many decades. You as the audience, listen in to his music throughout, so it is like you’re watching one long music video. Director Edgar Wright captured my attention from the opening scene and I knew I was going to be along for the ride.
The setting is Atlanta, Georgia and somehow it feels modern and retro at the same time. The action sequences are choreographed perfectly to the beat of the music in a way you haven’t seen before. The soundtrack added a sense of style to the scenes that somehow helped you to connect to Baby and his love interest, Debora on a unique level. Baby and Deb instantly connect over music and strike up a genuine interest in each other. Their scenes together had such charisma and chemistry and their relationship felt very organic. I have one criticism about Debora that I mention further down. However, Lily James caught my eye. I hadn’t seen her in anything else before, but I was impressed with her performance and I expect to see her in many more films to come.
Someone asked me if any of the actors stood out to me and I told them, “not really.” I mean all of them were great and played their parts well, but this movie just isn’t about the characters. In a way, it is about Baby and him getting out of this life he got caught up in, but the movie seems more about the movie itself. In a similar way a music video isn’t about the actors in it, this film isn’t about the actors in it. It is about the overall film itself.
It is not that we haven’t seen stories like this, it’s just that it feels as if we haven’t. I couldn’t predict what was going to happen and I never needed to. It is a crowd pleaser while also staying somewhat realistic. What I mean is that you are rooting for Baby the whole time and you desperately want him to travel west with Debora and escape this criminal life that has consumed him, but at the same time you realize that he is a criminal. A criminal that has escaped the cops far too many times. The way the story comes to terms with that left me somewhat satisfied. However, I heard people say the end would have been completely different if Baby was black…
**END of Spoiler**
The actions of a few characters in the final act were a little odd and unrealistic. Doc took a very sharp turn in the end. I was also wondering why Debora was willing to drop everything and travel the country with Baby. Like, exactly how much time did Baby and Debora spend together to be ride or die for each other? Debora just didn’t have enough motive to drop everything and travel across the country with a getaway driver knee deep with the sharks.
So in the final scenes, the actions of certain characters are fishy, but it wasn’t too distracting. If you try really hard to find holes in a cork board, you certainly will. The same applies here. If you look hard, you can find some minor plot holes, however, the movie holds together.
I absolutely adored the film. It was a fantastically stylish and an original addition to the heist genre. Baby Driver is like a quality handmade gem found on Etsy, while other movies in this genre are the factory made items you find at Walmart (i.e. The Fate of the Furious, Mission Impossible 6). Edgar Wright joins Jordan Peel in proving to Hollywood that comedy directors should be given more freedom and more opportunities in other genres. Lily James was absolutely captivating, Ansel Elgort was smooth, Jamie Foxx was a jerk, Jon Hamm was…well I don’t really know what he was. I give Baby Driver a 8.7/10 rating and I recommend this film to everyone. I certify that it will be 2 hours well spent.