I have developed a tiny bit of antipathy for car crashes and car explosions and car chases. Unless it is in Valhalla or Tatooine, or set in some brilliantly crafted set piece, and the cars look like monster trucks from hell or intergalactic speeders. But cops chasing regular cars on regular streets, I view with zero to mild interest. But give it to Edgar Wright to change that. Baby Driver opens with a beautifully choreographed, stylish long shot car chase scene that I have never before seen in movies. And if you are a fan of Mr. Edgar Wright, you will have come to expect every frame to be so kinetic and vibrant. And instead of just the usual sound effects of tire screeches and engine revs, this one had all the actions timed to the beats of the music. And music figures a great deal in this film. The story goes that Baby, the getaway car driver has Tinnitus and he needs to listen to music to drown out the ringing in his ears. So each time the engine starts up, or every time the wheel turns they are all timed to the rhythm of the music, it is a technical work of art. I never thought I’d get this excited over car chases!
Now to continue the rest of the story, Baby (Ansel Elgort) gets himself mixed up in Doc’s (Kevin Spacey) criminal dealings. Baby wants nothing more than to get out the robbery business, and just runaway with his waitress girlfriend (Lily James), to head West on the 20, in a car they can’t afford, with a plan they don’t have. But getting out of Doc’s grasp is proving to be tougher than he expected. Along the way he runs into other criminals including couple Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), and Bats (Jamie Foxx), and these people complicates things even further for Baby. Edgar Wright spins pretty good yarn if you ask me. I found it quite engaging, however the movie is not without wrong turns (car pun!). The story gets a bit messy during the last 40 minutes or so. There are shoot outs and threats and a lot of posing and muscle flexing that go nowhere. And I thought Doc made a complete 180 change that don’t make sense to me. BUT! I forgive those things because this movie has lot more going for it than those! And as far as performances goes, I thought Jamie Foxx was excellent as Bats. I mean truly, he had this manic energy about him. It scared the shizzles out of the me. And Lily James, despite being given a flimsy, arm candy type of character as Deborah the waitress, she managed to make her more quite real, endearing and charming. The titular character, Baby played by Ansel Elgort was a little…I don’t know…I mean, he did a good job but somehow I found myself cringing a bit when he would break into the karaoke lip synching scenes. Sometimes I feel like he’s trying too hard. But that’s just me.
Overall, Baby Driver is a whole lot of fun! It is definitely more than well worth your time. And I hope Edgar Wright will still someday direct a superhero movie because it’ll be awesome, I know it! (Marvel! Why won’t you just let him do his thang!) And I may just have a new soundtrack to get addicted too.
Rating: 4/ 5 Stars