Baby Driver (2017)

Capsule Summary (minor plot spoilers):

Baby Driver is the latest film by Edgar Wright.  It follows Baby (Ansel Elgort) who is a wheelman for crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey). Baby suffers from Tinnitus, and listens to music to drown it out. He owes a debt to Doc, and has almost paid it off.

A full, talented cast rounds out this movie, and there’s a lot of music and choreography of the getaways that elevates this film above others. Recommended.


Standard Review (contains plot spoilers):

Baby is off in his own world. He was orphaned as a child, and lives with his then-caregiver Joseph (CJ Jones). Joseph is older now, mute and confined to a wheelchair, so the tables have turned and Baby is taking care of him, instead. Joseph is aware that Baby is committing crimes and disapproves, but can’t convince him to stop.

Doc plans all the crimes, and hires different people to commit them, and rarely uses the same crew repeatedly, so they don’t get too comfortable. Griff (Jon Berenthal) is wary of Baby, and is convinced he’s autistic. Buddy and Darling (Jon Hamm and Eliza González) are a couple who share their love of crimes, and Bats (Jamie Foxx) is the trigger happy felon who doesn’t trust anyone. They’re mixed and matched together, along with some others for the various robberies, while Baby gets them safely away.

The escapes are what elevate this movie above the standard fare you see on screen, these days. Baby uses music to center himself, and the editing of the film puts it in sync with the action. There’s a wide variety of musical selections, from rock and roll from the 50s to modern classics, as well. It’s all over the map, appealing to a wider audience than one age group. The editing puts the beats in time with the action, including the gunfire and crashes. It’s quite clever.

Baby does have a love interest, Debora (Lily James) but to me, it’s more like she’s the one who happens to be there and show interest in him because he needs to be humanized. She’s almost a prop, at times, but she gets involved as things fall apart. They do have good chemistry on screen, so perhaps I’m overstating my complaints.

Overall, I did enjoy the film. The acting is quite solid, especially from Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx.