An original film by my all-time favourite director Edgar Wright, Baby Driver had a lot to live up to; being an homage to the classic yet small sub-genre of ‘driver’ films and a new plot in an age of sequels and adaptations; the box office may not be guaranteed but the already strong critical reception continues with the wide release and I certainly support it – Baby Driver is undoubtedly one of the most refreshing films of recent memory.
The tale of Baby (Ansel Elgort), a young getaway driver suffering from tinnitus, and his interactions with love interest Deborah (Lily James) and the array of thieves, gangsters and maniacs he comes across working for Kevin Spacey’s Doc; Baby Drivers strength comes not from its plot but from Wrights own unique style – the relatively simple narrative a vehicle for creative expression in visuals and sound. Building on his already meticulous and kinetic style of direction, the entirety of Baby Driver is edited to the soundtrack; Baby’s iPods that he uses to sound out his affliction becomes not only integral to the rhythm of his driving but the rhythm of the film itself, keeping each scene fresh and exciting. While Elgort and James’ romance is certainly strong, it takes a backseat to the range of supporting characters put between them; Doc, the ringleader pushing Baby’s buttons, Jamie Foxx’s Bats, a deranged psychopath with an eager trigger finger, and Jon Hamm’s Buddy, a surprisingly layered character who comes out of nowhere as the standout of the film.
The action is spectacular and nail biting thanks again to the tight editing; each sequence shares a dynamic energy be it in a car or on foot, with a fist or a gun – it will leave you breathless. With the necessary but less exciting romance, the film does drag slightly in the second act yet the third kicks off with such a bang that, like a switch, the films focus turns in a second to a monster of a finale; unleashing all the pent up rage within Baby through a crescendo of violence and chaos. However, the pace is still solid throughout, keeping the energy of the action even in the slow parts as every moment is set to the music running through Baby’s ears.
Another masterpiece to add to the growing list, Baby Driver puts you in the passenger seat and keeps you strapped in throughout as Wright takes you on a thrilling and entertaining ride.