I have seen a lot of movies, from dramas and rom-coms to horror and thrillers, but I can easily say this- Baby Driver is a unique and a frankly bombastic experience in the cinema. It is a hurricane of fresh air which blasts you in your seat from the moment it starts to its satisfying end (and I wasn’t in one of those fancy new 4D experience cinemas either!)
The basic idea behind the movie is this; Ansel Engort (The Fault in Our Stars) plays the enigmatic Baby- yes, you heard it right, B-A-B-Y, Baby- a young getaway driver with hearing problems and a love of music. He works for Kevin Spacey (Se7en, Usual Suspects, House of Cards) who brings the ragtag criminals together for each job. Along the way, we meet various crew members with a smorgasbord of different personalities from the unhinged Jamie Foxx (Collateral, Amazing Spiderman 2) to the threatening Jon Bernthal (from TV’s The Walking Dead and Netflix’s Daredevil as the Punisher). The cast is one of the greatest strengths of this movie, with all of them adding a piece to this beautiful narrative. Jamie Foxx feels like a real menace in this movie, always unsure of what he will do next helped by some great ambiguous shot choices- definitely some of his finest work. Kevin Spacey lends a quiet but unsettling performance as Doc, leaving Baby and you in the audience never really sure where his loyalties lie. Lily James from Kenneth Brannagh’s recent live action Cinderella plays the love interest of Baby and signifies what he really wants- to get out of this life. Her story arc feels a little bit quick, but the movie itself is so fast-paced you’ll barely notice.
The one character I should not fail to mention and plays such a huge role in this movie is the fabulous soundtrack. Like Guardians of the Galaxy and Tarentino classics before it, the soundtrack really drives the movie, forming the heartbeat of the narrative. The movie is edited superbly, often to the cues of the music, sometimes giving it the vibe of a trailer and meaning that you cannot look away from this movie for a moment. If you worry that emotional moments would be drowned out by soundtrack though, do not worry; the music is cleverly mixed in novel ways to put you in Baby’s position. For example, one scene sees Baby’s MP3 get shot, cutting the music out abruptly and making you really sense the danger that our Baby is in.
The cinematography is gorgeous, showing the riotous car chases in all their glory, making them some of the greatest in cinema for sure. A huge amount of credit must go to the director Edgar Wright here- after Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs the World before it, this is another terrifically made movie. And like those movies, this is a funny movie. Perhaps not a straight-up comedy but there are moments in there that will have you chuckling and belly laughing between all the adrenaline-fuelled action. Lily James’ arc, along with a slightly messy but also strangely neat ending, are the only really criticisms with the movie. Barely noticeable flaws. A must-see. Get watching!