Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, because Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver” is a wild ride full of nothing but mayhem from start to finish.
The film, which was released June 28, has received massive critical acclaim, being certified fresh with a whopping 96% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes and scoring an 86 out of 100 on Metacritic, another review aggregator site. Now, about two weeks after the film’s release, I can say that I have finally seen it, and I wholeheartedly agree with the critics’ on “Baby Driver.”
The film tells the story of Miles a.k.a. Baby, a music-loving and talented young getaway driver, and the crime world chaos that he finds himself thrown into. Ansel Elgort plays the introverted daredevil brilliantly, heavily relying on facial expression rather than words to successfully sell the character.
The opening scene, an exhilarating car chase around Atlanta following a heist set to the tune of “Bellbottoms” by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, is reason enough to go see the film. The scene, along with every other chase sequence, had quick pacing, rocking tunes and madcap action that made me feel like I was in the car with Baby as he effortlessly evaded the cops.
I also really enjoyed how almost every sequence in the film, whether it was an action sequence or not, seemed to be choreographed to the music that accompanied the film. The soundtrack fit the movie perfectly, creating an incredible audio and visual experience for the audience.
Lily James’ performance as Debora, a bubbly, naive waitress and Baby’s girlfriend, was a standout for me. Her character was extremely charming and provided a refreshing break from all of the bad-to-the-bone criminals that appear in the film.
I had previously only seen James in Disney’s live-action remake of Cinderella in 2015, which I enjoyed, but her portrayal of Debora in “Baby Driver” won me over and officially turned me into a fan of hers.
Kevin Spacey, another standout, brought a certain coldness to the role of Doc, a kingpin and heist mastermind, giving each of his scenes a high level of intensity.
Even though it was incredibly brief, I really liked indie pop singer Sky Ferreira’s appearance as Baby’s mom due to already having been a big fan of hers, and I absolutely loved how Wright incorporated her lovely cover of Lionel Richie’s “Easy” into the film. Ferreira’s scenes, which were a few flashback sequences, revealed the reasoning behind Baby’s love of music to the audience.
I also enjoyed Jamie Foxx’s performance as Bats, a tough-talking gangster, but his character was a bit forgettable and seemed to just be there for the sake of having a funny guy on the team of robbers. Jon Hamm and Eiza Gonzalez’s portrayals of the criminals Buddy and Darling weren’t very memorable for me either since all Buddy really did was act cocky and then vengeful, and Darling pretty much just stood there acting sexy for most of the movie.
Forgettable characters aside, “Baby Driver” is an altogether breathtaking experience full of simple, yet mind-blowing action and tender character moments. The film somehow managed to make me laugh, reach high stress levels and even almost cry, and for that I applaud it. A
Artwork by Rory Kurtz