“Baby Driver” is the latest film by director Edgar Wright, who’s known for movies like “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End.” “Baby Driver” is a fast-paced action film, following the life of the titular character, a getaway driver named “Baby” (Ansel Elgort). The action is complemented by a stellar soundtrack and perfect timing in nearly every scene.
The film begins in the middle of a heist with Baby waiting in the driver’s seat of a getaway car, plunging the viewer right into the action. Baby suffers from tinnitus (hearing sound when there is no external sound present), which has plagued him since his parents were killed in a car accident, and drowns out the ringing in his ears by listening to music. After his partners Buddy (Jon Hamm), Darling (Eiza González) and Griff (Jon Bernthal) have carried off their heist, Baby pulls off an impressive action sequence, ripping through the streets and outmaneuvering the police, all while keeping in time with the music that he’s listening to.
After successfully shaking the fuzz, the gang heads back to headquarters to split the money evenly. Once the others are gone, however, the kingpin Doc (Kevin Spacey) takes the majority of Baby’s cut since Baby owes him money. After just one more job, Baby will have paid off his debt and plans to quit. Spacey and the rest of the cast are perfect for their roles; they are all alternately charming and effective, making characters that would seem cliched very real. Their dialogue is realistic, and most of them have believable motives, drawing the viewer in for the two-hour ride.
However, the ensuing action involves Deborah, Baby’s love interest played by Lily James, and this is where problems arise. Deborah is a waitress whom Baby meets at a diner. The audience gets no background on Deborah, and never meets her outside of her interactions with Baby. She says she wants to “head west in a car I can’t afford with a plan I don’t have,” but we’re given no explanation as to why. Nonetheless, when needed, this random waitress unquestioningly joins in on the violence later on in the film. Deborah’s sole purpose seems to be providing a pretty-faced love interest, and the rest of the ensemble only serves to underscore how flat her character is.
Aside from having a very one-dimensional love interest, this is overall a very good film. Although it has a simple story and runs just shy of two hours, it easily feels like a much longer film, and with perfect pacing Wright makes sure the viewer is on the edge of their seat. This getaway driver action movie is something that can be enjoyed by a wide range of audiences, especially with its attention to detail and impeccable timing. If a gun is fired, it’s going to be in time with the music. Every single thing you see and hear in this film is there for a reason and meant to be noticed, from car chases to coffee.
Anyone who likes a good action film, or anyone who appreciates fine cinematography and good music, should check out “Baby Driver.”
Movie Title: “Baby Driver”
Director: Edgar Wright
Release: June 28