Baby (Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars) is a young getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus and so constantly listens to music to drown it out. His music means he can make any wild move while in motion with the right track playing. It’s a critical talent he needs to survive after being coerced to work for crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey, House of Cards), who values Baby’s role in his meticulously planned robberies. However, just when Baby thinks he is finally free and clear to have his own life with his new girl friend, Debora (Lily James, Cinderella), Doc brings him back for another job. Now saddled with a crew of thugs too violently unstable to keep to Doc’s plans, Baby finds himself and everything he cares for in terrible danger. To survive and escape it will take all of Baby’s skill, wits and daring, and the right soundtrack of course!
Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and with a great cast including Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained), Baby Driver is an excellent film from start to finish! Filled with stunningly executed action scenes and stunts, and with a soundtrack with an abundance of classic rock and soul tracks as well as heavily relatable characters, there is nothing to criticise about this film. The reason Baby Driver is different from other action films is due to the heavy reliance on music leading the action. Every move fits the rhythm and beat of the music, with action sequences building along with the song’s climax. An excellent example is when Baby and Debora are having a romantic meal, all we can hear is the music but the movements of the two – down to the flick of an eyebrow – is all in time to the beat.
Ansel Elgort is perfect as Baby, it’s easy to see he is trapped in this role of getaway driver and takes no pleasure in what he is a part of. He has a beautiful relationship with his deaf foster dad which shows a completely different side to him compared to the one who drives criminals around. His character is totally likeable and believable, you root for him the entire time and feel a protectiveness towards him when he is amidst the others. His growing romance with Debora is sweet and shows yet another side to his character. Lily James is great and the two work alongside each other perfectly. The role is very different to what we’ve seen her in before but she pulls it off brilliantly.
Kevin Spacey brings the serious and sinister role, leading the various criminals through each heist but never doing anything himself. He has a power over Baby and constantly uses this to his advantage. He is very much in charge and won’t take any nonsense. Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm both play slightly psychotic characters. They bring a few laughs throughout which stops the film being too full on. Again this is a very different role for Jon Hamm – nothing like the calm persona of Don Draper in Mad Men – but he plays it brilliantly.
The film is packed with car chases, right from the opening sequence through to the very end, and each chase is amazingly pulled off. It would be interesting to know how exactly it was all filmed as I’m pretty sure the likes of Ansel, Jon and Jamie would not be allowed to be involved in scenes so dangerous!
Overall, Baby Driver is a fantastic film! I really wasn’t sure what to expect but had seen a lot of good reviews, and now I’m so glad we went to see it. Yes there are a lot of action scenes but the plot and the romance between Baby and Debora bring another side to the film so it really is suitable for everyone, and with a soundtrack including the likes of Lionel Richie, Queen, Chuck Rio and Pharrell Williams, you really can’t go wrong!