Published on June 28th, 2017 | by Dan Nicholls0
The hype surrounding Edgar Wright’s new film, Baby Driver, does not go unrewarded; it’s the coolest and most satisfying piece of pop entertainment this year.
It’s been a long four years since British wunderkind Edgar Wright last released a film and his return is most welcome during these summer multiplex doldrums. After one lame duck sequel/prequel/reboot after another, Baby Driver is like a blast of fresh air injecting some vibrant life back into the movie going season.
The hype surrounding Edgar Wright’s hotly anticipated new film does not go unrewarded; it’s the coolest and most satisfying piece of pop entertainment this year. After the incredibly lackluster crop of would-be blockbusters audiences have steered clear of over the past few months, Baby Driver is a Hot Wheels enema of exciting originality.
Our indelible hero is the titular Baby (Ansel Elgort), an ace behind the wheel with an unprecedented hot streak as a getaway driver for Atlanta crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey). He’s quiet and keeps to himself amongst a crew of loudmouths including Buddy (Jon Hamm), Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), and Bats (Jamie Foxx). But when Baby’s out of the darkness he lets his soul sing and dance through life. He meets a girl named Debora (Lily James) and sets his sights on paying off a debt and leaving the life of crime behind. But as we all know, there’s always one last score to pull off.
Baby lost his parents in a car accident when he was little which left him an orphan with tinnitus. He drowns out this constant ringing in his ears with earbuds blasting a pristine selection of music. The real joy of Baby Driver is how writer-director Wright marries car chase action with music. The soundtrack is eclectic and stacked with classics and obscure gems from around the globe. The number of songs played throughout the film has to rival the total count in High Fidelity. Also a hopeless romantic, Baby is a little like a younger Rob Gordon in more ways than one.
Edgar Wright’s always been a pro at blending genres and deftly handling tonal shifts. His game is ramped up here with moments that are equally affecting in their own respective ways: comedy, romance, action, and suspense aren’t really juggled – they’re more like cards played in a hand dealt by the story and the characters. Everything feels organic and genuine.
Each and every performer gets a moment to shine and make a lasting impression. It’s a stacked roster of talent that features some surprisingly brave against type casting. Foxx and Hamm in particular get to slide from charming to terrifying throughout the movie and it feels like a welcome surprise watching them give it their all. Ansel Elgort and Lily James have an easy and comfortable chemistry that instantly makes it easy to root for them to ride off into the sunset with each other.
Baby Driver might have a couple small dents that keep it from being immaculately perfect in every single way but it’s still the most damn fun you could hope for. Wright’s vision and his collaborator’s skills are dialed to 11 here and their daring deserves to be praised loudly. Baby Driver is a ride worth taking again and again.