Film Review: Baby Driver

Edgar Wright proves once again that he is one of the best directors of this generation with his passion project, Baby Driver.

Baby Driver is practically bursting at the seams with style. The sights and sounds of  Baby Driver make it undoubtedly the slickest movie I’ve seen this year, and the more than capable cast adds to it with gusto.

The film puts us behind the wheel with Baby (Ansel Elgort), a man who has a strong passion for music and a talent for driving like no other. When we first meet Baby, he’s spent the past few years reluctantly putting his invaluable skills to use as a getaway driver for Doc (Kevin Spacey), a kingpin who plans intricate robberies with a variety of thugs; like the tough guy Griff (Jon Bernthal), the bat-shit crazy Bats (Jamie Foxx), and the power couple that is Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eiza González). However, Baby wants to leave his life of crime more than ever after meeting Debora (Lily James), a young waitress who he begins to care for, but Doc is dangerously adamant about he and Baby’s continued criminal partnership.

I can’t say that the story is an original one because criminal escape and/or redemption stories aren’t anything new, but the visual flair, ensemble cast and absolutely brilliant soundtrack firmly place it above others in the genre.

While I haven’t seen any of Elgort’s previous movies, his marvelous acting here has put him on my radar for the future. Elgort masterfully switches between the aloof driver, the friendly diner patron, and the badass action hero without missing a single beat. His chemistry with James’ Debora is super solid as well, which made it pretty easy to buy into their relationship despite it feeling a tad rushed.

Spacey is fantastic as always, ranging from amusing to intimidating. James was also fun to watch, particularly during her scenes in the diner with Elgort, and I thought González brought a lot of fun to the table by totally embodying her character and playing off of the rest of the cast. Plus her chemistry with Hamm was just as strong as James and Elgort’s. Flea and Jon Bernthal appear in smaller roles, but they unfortunately didn’t get enough screen time to leave as big of an impression as the other stars.

As much as I loved the rest of the cast, it was Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx who were undoubtedly the best in show. There was one particular scene I loved where Bats, Buddy, and Darling talked about their reasons for living their lives the way they do that gets pretty intense. I don’t think many actors out there could’ve given it with the combination of magnitude and style it had with Hamm and Foxx.

As I keep saying, style is a huge component in helping Baby Driver stand out from the crowd, and it is prevalent at all times, especially during the opening scene, which might be my favorite in any movie this year. Wright’s distinct technique is felt during the magnificent car chases, seen in the snazzy costume designs, through the graceful choreography and heard on the exquisite soundtrack.

Speaking of the soundtrack, oh man is it great. Simon & Garfunkel, Queen, The Commodores, and many more artists are thrown into what is one of my favorite movie soundtracks ever. Baby is listening to music almost at all times and the songs always fit into the scenes fabulously.

If you’re looking for something fun, I highly recommend Baby Driver. It’s a visually stunning and thoroughly entertaining film that will get your blood pumping with its high-octane action, superb cast, and staggering sense of style.

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