“Nobody puts Baby in the corner” – Dirty Dancing
While that line may not be from this movie, it perfectly sums up the film Baby Driver, a heist film centered on a young getaway driver who was coerced into a life of crime before being brought into a job that is doomed to fail. Brought to life by the genius that is Edgar Wright (the mind behind such cult classics as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Shaun of the Dead), this film was almost guaranteed to be a must-see production .
The film follows Baby (Ansel Elgort from The Fault in Our Stars), a driver for a gang boss named Doc (Kevin Spacey from American Beauty), as he works to get his life back on track so that he can be with Debora (Lily James from Cinderella). Along the way he must work with fellow gang members Bats (Jamie Foxx from Django Unchained), Buddy (Jon Hamm from Mad Men), Darling (Eiza González from From Dusk Till Dawn), and Griff (Jon Bernthal from Daredevil).
No one can deny that this film had an outstanding cast. Elgort delivered a very memorable performance, even though he has fewer lines than most of the cast. He brought emotion, depth, and humor to a role that easily could have fallen flat in certain places. Besides Elgort, Spacey delivers an extremely memorable performance with the southern accent that he has become known for. The other standout performance in the film is Foxx who plays an insane gang member with what seems like impeccable ease. The only bad thing related to acting is that Bernthal didn’t get enough screen time.
It’s refreshing to see a summer movie that lacks excessive amounts of special effects. Baby Driver is one of those movies that creates high stakes and amazing action sequences using just flawless visual effects. The effects appear incredibly real, making the film more grounded and believable.
These visual effects massively add to the intense and insane driving sequences. Unlike the Fast and Furious movies, these driving/chase scenes appear more believable and are considerably less ridiculous. They take place on real Atlanta streets and only features cars (instead of cars being driven out of planes).
Unlike many R-rated movies, Baby Driver doesn’t use its rating as an excuse to have absurd amounts of extremely graphic violence. Instead of this outlandish amount of gory violence, Driver’s violence, while there, isn’t extremely violent but considerably controlled. There is blood, but considerably less than one would expect.
Considering the fact that the protagonist constantly listens to music, due to events from earlier in his life, Baby Driver needed to have a phenomenal soundtrack. Featuring music from the 80s and 90s, the soundtrack to this film adds a sense of humor at times and intensity at others. The music blends with the story rather than detracting from it, and I don’t think the movie would the same without it.
While the movie was entertaining and fun, the story was something we have all seen before. A young boy gets into trouble with a gang and wants to get out so he be with the girl of his dreams. While the simplicity of the plot is a positive, the cliché of it is not.
And the Ugly
Overall, I give Baby Driver a 9.8/10 stars. And I won’t be surprised if it gets at least a few Oscar nominations next year.