In “Baby Driver,” director Edgar Wright knows how to show an audience a good time! Best known for his comical work, including the zombie flick “Shaun of the Dead” and the cop caper “Hot Fuzz,” in this new film he’s bringing us speed and cool attitude.
Baby (Ansel Elgort) is smooth-moving and a bit old fashioned, yet he burns rubber like Steve McQueen.
“Baby Driver” is all about fast movement. The first time you see Baby—that’s his handle—he’s in the driver’s seat and the car doesn’t look like much, and Baby is waiting for the action to start, sealed off from the dull outside world by his dark sunglasses and earbuds.
The story is simple: Baby getting in and out of trouble while finding love and money. But the meat of this story is in how he shifts gears and pushes speed, all while listening to his thumping tunes. Baby has skills and an interesting back story, which includes a kindly foster father, Joe (C.J. Jones), who is a deaf invalid with whom he uses sign language. There is a reason for the earbuds. Baby has tinnitus, which he quells with music.
Baby drives fast, hard, tight and seemingly effortless, with spinning wheels across pavements.
In the heart-pounding opener—a heist—Baby peels out in his cherry-red souped-up Subaru, which is reminiscent of the “Road Runner” cartoon chases, that builds momentum with escapes that are shot and edited with perfection.
“Baby Driver” is slick and sexy and it’s filled with interesting characters, all of whom seem to possess a seductive side, that include Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Eiza González and Lily James
Baby’s boss Doc (Kevin Spacey) is one of those criminal mystical minds whose desire to control those around him feels like he’s putting everyone within earshot into a trance. It’s complex but in this film, effective.
There’s a lot to enjoy in “Baby Driver,” including the display of genuine cinematic craftsmanship.
The edits work, each frame pops with life and colors, and the cinematography serves the performances and the story. The car chases are hot and rhythmic, with a beat that Baby carries with him out of the car.
Director Wright made “Baby Driver” so good that you want it to be just a little bit deeper, as if levitating out of your seat is just not enough—because it’s so good we dare to wish for more. Wright cares about pleasing us—his audience—and “Baby Driver” is a must-see this summer!
“Baby Driver” is rated R for gun and vehicular violence. Running time is 1 hour and 53 minutes.