Baby Driver is written and directed by Edgar Wright and stars Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Elza Gonzalez, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey.
Simply put, this movie is just good old-fashioned clean fun, with a whole lot of swearing, shooting, insanely good driving and a love story thrown in just for grins. There are a lot of things to love about Baby Driver and without getting into any spoilers, let’s break them down.
First, this is an action thriller about bank robbers and specifically the heart-of-gold young driving prodigy named Baby, as played by Ansel Elgort, who is relucantly caught up in this world because crime boss Doc, as played by Kevin Spacey, has leverage over him and is not about to give up his lucky charm. Fellow bank robbers Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Elza Gonzalez and Jon Bernthal all rotate through Doc’s crew as he changes it up from one job to the next and each brings their own unique character and skillset to the mix.
But bank robberies are not really what this movie is about, anymore than Field of Dreams is really about baseball. This character-driven narrative is packed with style literally from scene one and it instantly sets this movie apart from just about anything I’ve seen in over a decade, since the equally stylish LA Confidential and The Usual Suspects, which also featured Kevin Spacey in a key role. We so rarely see good action movies anymore, with studios seemingly determined to sell us cardboard cutout stereotypes and lame variations of bad Stallone and Schwarzenegger 80s blockbusters, updated with nods to today’s social values but stories so flat I could surf on them. Yes, I’m talking about all the Fast and Furious and Mission Impossible series, where the actors simply check their brains at the door and the directors overwhelm is with so much stunt porn that our brains explode from all the physics-defying nonsense splashing across the screen.
Director Edgar Wright’s past work has been mostly smart and oftentimes hilarious comedy, such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and he even stepped in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the helm of Ant Man. He’s a good director who knows that movies are about people, not car crashes, and he delivers in spades here. He first conceived of this movie from the music in it and believe me, the soundtrack is pretty much its own character, as inseparable from the story as the songs in Love Actually are to that film. In fact, there are whole sequences timed to the beat of the songs that are playing on Baby’s iPod while he’s driving furiously around town. Making films like this is a lot harder than it looks and it requires real talent to pull if off as well as Wright does here.
What I kept thinking in watching Baby Driver is how this hearkens back to the kind of old school robber/gangster films that inspire so much of Quentin Tarantino’s work…but different. Edgar Wright is not trying to copy anyone, he’s definitely an original. And in breaking away from the British comedies of his past and getting into more serious fare with Baby Driver, Wright shows that he has what it takes to make any kind of movie he wants.
I’m giving Baby Driver a rating of Sheer Awesomeness. It’s not a perfect movie by any means but in terms of story, cinematography, stunt work and execution, this is one of the best films out there right now and definitely worth seeing. I look forward to hearing what you guys think; leave me your feedback in the comments and please share this video around the interwebs. If you haven’t subscribed to my channel, now is the perfect time to do so. Talk at you later. Thanks for watching.