Don’t you have a driving song? Or a doing song? Something you switch on when you need to get stuff done? Well, in Edgar Wright’s latest, that’s exactly what Baby has to do to drive.
Ansel Elgort (The Fault in our Stars, Divergent) plays Baby, a man who owes Doc, Kevin Spacey, money, and a lot of it. To pay his debt, Doc brings Baby into his heist jobs as a getaway driver.
There’s no doubting Baby can drive, but he does so whilst listening to tunes on an old iPod which doesn’t go down well with some of the guns-for-hire Doc uses.
Bats, Jamie Foxx (Sleepless, Django Unchained), in particular isn’t down with this kid, but then again, Bats is batsh*t crazy. Buddy, stone-cold Jon Hamm (Mad Men, Minions) and crazy girlfriend Darling, Eliza Gonzalez (From Dusk Till Dawn (TV), Jem and the Holograms) are cool with Baby, at least, initially.
Deal after deal goes down and Baby seems to be Doc’s lucky charm. But then Baby falls in love with Deborah, Lily James (Cinderella, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) a girl from a diner and the two plan to just get in a car and drive whilst listening to music.
This, coupled with Bats’ wild behaviour, means a routine deal to pick up some guns goes south after Bats begins shooting. Baby tries to make his escape to Deborah but doesn’t get very far and, inevitably, the simple job turns into a nightmare.
Baby Driver is from the man behind The Cornetto Trilogy of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, Edgar Wright.
As one would expect from Wright, it’s funny, very funny. Comedy is served dry and comes from places you least expect with Spacey acting as the straight and serious man throughout.
From an eight-year old nephew, a chip off the old block, to gun-slinging robbers arguing over names in a car, a scene that reminded me of Airplane, though with less silly names and the scene with the masks, it’s all funny.
Add to this the outstanding timing of on-screen action to the music playing, great performances and some stunning driving sequences and Baby Driver is nothing short of a modern musical-action masterpiece.
You know when a movie trailer is cut and they time the music to match the on-screen action? A door slams in time to a beat on the soundtrack, that sort of thing. Well imagine that, but for virtually an entire film.
It must have been exhausting and a nightmare. Wright is so much more than director for the film, he’s more conductor. And it’s not just action when this timing is used.
After the opening scene, Baby is sent out for coffees, something he does every time, and this simple act of a man walking to a coffee shop, buying coffees and walking back is absolutely glorious.
I wanted to ask them to rewind it. There was so much to see, so much going on and I’m sure I probably missed half of it too.
From graffiti and posters on walls spelling out the lyrics of the track playing, hit with precision every time, to movement, people shouting, engines revving, all of it synced to perfection and a feast for both eyes and ears.
If there’s one criticism, it would be that I wanted to see more of this, but that’s being very picky.
There are, as you can imagine, a million and one stunt drivers credited so I’m unsure exactly who to highlight but kudos must go to each of them, but the opening Subaru driver is very impressive.
Much kudos to Ryan Heffington (Mascots, all manner of music videos) who was the choreographer for Baby Driver. The coffee shop scene is brilliantly done.
It’s impossible to talk about a scene in Baby Drive without mentioning the music that’s playing at the time. Each track is perfectly matched. From the car-jacking with Young MC – Know How over the top to the gun-deal with The Champs – Tequila.
Whether you consider Wright a masterful director or conductor or even DJ, what he’s produced with Baby Driver is exceptionally detailed, extremely well thought-out, funny, fun with a love story thrown in as well.
I loved it, and there wasn’t a cut-scene montage in sight.