Satisfying. Fun. And oh, so cool.
Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a young but experienced getaway driver, counting down the days until he’s out of the business, and can escape Atlanta with potential girlfriend Debora (Lily James). But one final job sees him in over his head as all hell breaks loose with experienced heisters Buddy and Darling (Jon Hamm and Eiza Gonzalez) and loose cannon Bats (Jamie Foxx).
As Baby suffers from tinnitus, he always listens to music to drown out the ringing – thus, we hear Baby’s music, a fun mix of retro pop and modern rock, constantly in the background, and if not there’s a slight ringing noise. Technically outstanding films like this rarely combine such skill with balls to the wall fun like Wright has here; Baby Driver is a directing and editing masterpiece, combining sound and music with visuals in ways that aren’t just impressive, but unique and oh, so satisfying. Characters often move in time to the music; shots almost always cut away in 4/4 time, and gun reports are in time with the beat, creating an incomparably cool, rock and roll alternative universe which is modern, retro and classic all at once.
This is all in theme with its timeless story: a romance interspersed with frenetic action and violence, and Baby and Debora (a picture perfect couple, with electric chemistry between Elgort and James) are just a couple’a kids who want to run away together. Standing in the way, of course, is the film’s double act as a stylised, hyper-violent chase movie. Crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey), to whom Baby is obliged, and his host of unpredictable criminals are always throwing a thrilling spanner into the works of our fairy-tale, allowing the film to continue to surprise, even to its final moments. And though the plot may seem simple on the surface, its uncomplicated nature allows the film to fully embrace every part of itself and wear its heart on its sleeve.
Because Baby Driver is unapologetically earnest, enjoying every genre it encompasses. Baby and Debora’s relationship is romantic and realistic, but unafraid to be cheesy. The action is tense, and gory, pushing the film’s stylistic beats all the way to its truly rock and roll climax. And the many enormous car chases never waste a second, impressing us with slick action, the sweet soundtrack and character development all at once, usually in the form of the quiet but enigmatic Baby. Though his supporting cast is fantastic, Elgort carries the film on his shoulders, and in amongst the craziness and power of his criminal world, his sincerity and devotion to his family (in every form it takes) is what compels us to his fast, loud story.
From Carla Thomas’ B-A-B-Y to T. Rex’s Debora, the blood pumping Neat Neat Neat (The Damned) and the sublime Easy (like Sunday morning… you know the one), Baby Driver reels you in soul first, pulling you headfirst into a magical reality full of romance, blood, cars and guns. With its impeccable soundtrack and pitch-perfect performances, Baby Driver is a masterclass in filmmaking, as well as the most fun you’ll have in cinemas this year.
With this cool ensemble cast, here’s my top five favourite films and TV shows starring the cast of Baby Driver:
- The Fault In Our Stars (no shame) – Ansel Elgort
- Cinderella – Lily James
- Elvis & Nixon – Kevin Spacey
- Daredevil – Jon Bernthal
- Parks and Recreation – Jon Hamm (he’s in an episode!)
Photos taken from IMDb.com: