Review - Baby Driver

Baby Driver (2017), R, 113 minutes - Baby Driver is the latest film from one of my personal favorites, writer/director Edgar Wright.  Most of his previous work has fallen (primarily) into the comedy genre, but with this film he proves that he is more than capable of handling a crime/action flick.

Wright gives us the story of Baby (Ansel Elgort), a good kid with amazing skills behind the wheel who has fallen in with the wrong people and now finds himself working off debt as criminal mastermind Doc's (Kevin Spacey) getaway driver of choice.  Doc never uses the same crew twice, but continually relies on Baby as the driver for all of his heists as he has never been caught.  All of Doc's heist crew members have their own eccentricities and Baby is no exception.  He's a music lover and is constantly listening to an iPod in order to drown out the Tinnitus (ringing in his ears) caused by a childhood car accident that killed both of his parents.  He even uses music as a timing mechanism when working jobs, going so far as to hold up the beginning of a heist in order to re-start a song to keep the timing right.  Baby eventually works off his debt to Doc and plans on walking away from the criminal lifestyle, but Doc lords the safety of Baby's foster-father Joseph (CJ Jones) and new girlfriend Debora (Lilly James) over his head, so he's compelled to drive once again.  Of course, luck is bound to run out at some point and the heist falls apart, leaving Baby to look out for himself and his loved ones.

The film is full of colorful and entertaining characters, all brought to life by a wonderful cast also including Jon Bernthal (Griff), Jon Hamm (Buddy), Eiza González (Darling), and Jamie Foxx (Bats).  The music in the film is treated as though it were a character in its own right.  It's diverse and obviously meticulously selected not only to help set the pace and tone of the film, but to flesh out Baby's personality and relationships with others (especially with Joseph and Debora).  There are certain films that become synonymous with their soundtracks because of how cohesive they are with the story being told, and Baby Driver is definitely one of them.  Personally, I know a film really made great use of its soundtrack when I want to listen to it repeatedly even though it consists primarily of music that I don't generally listen to.

Baby Driver hits the ground running and doesn't let up.  Most of the crazy driving stunts seen in the trailer take place in the first act of the film, but have no fear, this is not a movie that wastes its best content on the trailer.

Many of Edgar Wright's previous works are genre mashups, and Baby Driver is no different as it has a little something for everyone.  Part action, part comedy, part romance, and all heist flick, you're sucked in right away and develop an emotional connection to Baby and his situation.  There's a bunch of language and some violence (hence the R rating), but Baby Driver is an excellent, highly enjoyable film that I definitely recommend to just about anyone.  It will have you on the edge or your seat and tapping your foot, bobbing your knee, or however you move to music.  It is literally almost impossible to sit still throughout the course of this movie.  I will definitely be adding it to my personal collection as soon as it gets a home release.


- As Baby is making the coffee run after the heist sequence that opens the film, lyrics of the song he is listening to can be seen in the background/foreground in the form of graffiti and street signs.

- Eddie, one of the members of the Mike Myers heist, is played by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers


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