Tonight, instead of going and watching Wonder Woman, I went to an advance screening of Baby Driver. I DO NOT REGRET IT ONE BIT. Baby Driver follows a young and talented getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort), who relies on the personal beat of his preferred soundtrack to be the best in the world of crime. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a mysterious criminal (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when an ill-fated heist threatens his life, love, and chance of freedom. The cast is pretty fantastic including Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, and Eiza Gonzalez. Let’s dig into the latest Edgar Wright hit.
Edgar Wright is back as a director since 2013’s The World’s End! Baby Driver is a comedic heist movie with all the familiar Edgar Wright trademarks. The action scenes are well-shot and choreographed (unsurprisingly if you’ve seen his other films). The movie is also (unsurprisingly) hilarious. The film also has kinetic editing and pacing.
However, the one element that sets this movie apart from other Edgar Wright’s films (and other movies in general) is how the music is used. Music becomes the soul of the movie. The protagonist Baby listens to music to drown out the ringing from his tinnitus (as explained in the trailer), so the audience experiences the story from his point of view and we constantly listen to his music. Music punctuates and syncs up with the action and visuals (i.e. the impressive opening credits sequence) much like in Shaun of the Dead but in such a way that it’s the Co-director and co-writer of the movie. Music becomes integral to the relationships between characters. The soundtrack is full of the 70s and 80s music, no contemporary music.
There were great performances all-around in Baby Driver. Ansel Elgort dominates every scene he’s In. He does a fantastic job in The Fault in Our Stars and I remember thinking this guy has potential to be great in everything he does. Good to see he’s great in Baby Driver. He is in all the necessary aspects of this movie: action, humor, and emotional. Kevin Spacey also gives a great performance with both menace and charm. Jon Hamm finally gets a great film role and gives a great performance. Jamie Foxx is back as the Mother… oh wait, wrong character (same intensity, though). Lily James is given more to do with her performance than romantic interests in other movies. It’s easy to understand why Baby has fallen for her character.
Baby Driver is my favorite movie of the year so far. It’s got amazing action, hilarious moments, some emotional moments, and wonderful performances. It’s probably my favorite Edgar Wright film (although I need to rewatch the Cornetto trilogy and Scott Pilgrim). I’ll definitely rewatch it when it comes out in theaters later this month. This movie hits from the start and doesn’t let up. Super cast, fun characters, amazing soundtrack, great action, and a very well written story drives this flick straight into greatness. I will gladly pay to see it again come June. Edgar Wright and James Gunn should have a movie soundtrack battle of some sorts. The only winner would be us, the audience, because they are both so amazing at picking music for their direction.
SUPERSAM RATING: ★★★★★