Writer/director Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is a welcome change in the sea of sameness that passes for mainstream cinemas these days. With the preponderance of super hero extravaganzas and sequels that litter multiplexes on a regular basis, it’s nice to see a film distributor—in this case Sony—put a film out there in the summer movie going season that doesn’t already have an established brand behind it. If audiences are going to try an untested brand, Baby Driver is the one to beat.
The Baby (Ansel Elgort) of the film’s title is a getaway driver who’s the best in his business. So good in fact that his boss, Doc (Kevin Spacey), uses him for all of the bank robbery jobs that he orchestrates on a semi regular basis. Baby is the quiet type who only speaks when spoken to and later we learn the reasons for this.
Baby was orphaned as a child when his parents were killed in a car crash. Having been in the car with them but miraculously surviving, Baby now suffers from a form of tinnitus that forces him to listen to music constantly in an effort to drown out the noise. This gives Wright the ample opportunity to bombard the film’s soundtrack with back to back tunes. The choice of songs are quite something to behold as Wright eschews the obvious cliched choices found in other mainstream pictures in favor of lesser known but still effective selections that. The music choices are so good, that you find yourself seized by the emotion to go out and buy the film’s soundtrack immediately.
The plot of the film revolves around Baby making one last run for his boss before quitting the business and hightailing it to another life with his girlfriend, Deborah (Lily Jones). Of course things go wrong as Baby finding himself butting heads with the thugs (Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Eliza Gonzalez) he’s been entrusted to assist in their failed attempts to pull off a robbery.
No one will ever accuse Baby Driver of being deep, meaningful or philosophical, but it’s so full of energy and great kinetic filmmaking that it’s hard not be enraptured in its spell. It’s also a kick to spot the many nods to other films like Baby Driver. For instance, a cameo by Walter Hill, director of the 1978 film The Driver, an obvious inspiration for Baby Driver, had me silently smiling. It’s that kind of thing that reminds me why I still love the experience of going to the movies and on that Baby Driver delivers, no pun intended.
Baby Driver is playing in Hickory.
Ansel Elgor & Kevin Spacey in Baby Driver
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