Baby Driver is the new film from director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz) and stars Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx. The film follows Baby (Elgort), a talented getaway driver who drowns out the persistent ringing in his ears by listening to music. After meeting the woman of his dreams, Baby agrees to pull off one more job with the hopes of leaving his criminal life behind him.
This movie feels like a fresh take on the crime genre; even though this is a heist film, you never see the thefts happen on screen. Rather, the focus is on Baby sitting in the car, and the choice to not concentrate on the heist shows the separation between Baby and the life he leads. The film also has elements from musicals, but with a slight twist, and these twists are what make the movie great. Wright takes the well-known conventions from heist movies and musicals, flips them on their head, and makes them new and original. The driving sequences are fun and exciting, and Wrights distinct style of fast-paced edits and stylistic action are all over the film. The acting is top-notch across the board. Elgort shines in his role and sells the duality in Baby’s personality, going from stoic to fun loving instantly. Foxx and Hamm’s characters are well realized and are filled with personality. The soundtrack is well thought out and the song pairings are some of the best in recent memory.
Even thought this movie does a lot of things right, it’s not flawless. One problem I had was that it seemed a bit too long. There are a few ideas that could’ve been cut out, making the run time shorter and tightening up the story line. Also, the movie slows down about halfway through and focuses on the relationship between Baby and a waitress named Deborah (Lilly James). The issue with this shift in focus is that their relationship isn’t fleshed out enough, and you end up not caring about them as much when everything goes wrong.
Even with its pacing problem this movie is still a lot of fun. The chase scenes are heart pounding and will have you on the edge of your seat. The characters are compelling and you will be invested in most of their stories. This genre bending movie is unlike anything you’ve seen and you will not be disappointed if you go to see it.
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Written by: William Sherick