March 23, 2023

Film Review – Baby Driver (2017)


Debt always finds its way to get you to repay back what you owe, 99% you find yourself stuck in a vicious circle, no way to escape. In Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver, a young man finds himself trapped in that circle. Forced to ‘drive’ to pay his way out of debt, a movie that may be slick but a way too flawed to be that perfect movie some critics state it is.

Ansel Elgort plays ‘Baby’, a talented young getaway driver whose the best in the game. Criminals want him to drive for them, he doesn’t want the ‘life’ he has now except he wants a debt-free life. Enter the girl of his dreams, Deborah (Lilly Collins), she gives Baby an opportunity to escape his criminal life. When anything good comes his way syndicate boss Doc (Kevin Spacey) coerces Baby to get behind the wheel once again. That next heist goes wrong that ends threatening his life, his new love and most of all his freedom.

If there’s ever a movie that showcases the important relationship between a movie and it’s soundtrack score, Baby Driver is your movie. The music for this one plays a pivotal part of the movie, first blocking out Baby’s chronic Tinnitus. This helps him to focus whilst his condition has developed his mind to become photographic whilst the criminals he drives for doubt his talents. The music also plays like an extra character helping to tell the story, even becoming part of the scenery like in the opening credits. The diversity of the tracks will attract music fans to the movie, however this has a lot of style, with substance to give a very imbalanced account.

The action is slick, nicely choreographed delivering one of the best car chase scenes in cinematic history (not the greatest though). What makes those scenes more fascinating is 95% of them are practical effect which is an rarity in an era dominated by Green screen CGI. The movie is filmed on location on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia.

If your looking for characters with a lot of depth, you will be looking in the wrong place. Some may say it’s fine and they would be true to a certain extent, it’s all down to your expectations. In Baby’s story things are undeveloped as things are kept to a bare minimum. This approach works nicely if it’s the action you’re craving, as this let’s you know there the good guys, the others are the bad guys and the rest is up to you. If your looking for a little more, you will be left disappointed.

The actual level of acting isn’t that bad. Elgort in one of his first full lead roles, conveying a solid performance that will help his name rise in the ranks of Hollywood (same with Collins too). Jamie Foxx and John Hamm are perfect as the the goons that Baby drives for, unhinged and perfect reason for him to escape this lifestyle. On a sour note but no fault of the movie, the release date of this home release version of the movie comes out at a time one of it’s star’s reputation goes down the drains. We all know about the allegations about Spacey and ironically his Doc character reflects his real life: Cold, calculating and controlling.

Overall Baby Driver is a thrilling ride which has plenty of style, sharp dialogue with Edgar Wright imputing his trademark wit and humour. The plot is very cliched with the movie losing it’s momentum when it gets to the last quarter. If you look behind the wafer character back stories, you will be treated to a fascinating high octane movie. backed by a great soundtrack that will urge you to burn the rubber even if you can’t drive!

This is the heist movie for the Grand Theft Auto generation.