Baby Driver Film Review
Edgar Wright’s latest feature length motion picture hit all the right spots not only for me but certainly the audience too. Action, style, music and comedy combine to present all that a great movie should. The musical inspiration is clear from Simon & Garfunkel B-side. “I was born one dark grey morn with music coming in my ears,” the song writing duo crooned on 1969’s Baby Driver: “They call me Baby Driver, and once upon a pair of wheels, I hit the road and I’m gone.”
The film follows a getaway-driving cutie-pie savant whose every move behind the wheel is in Olympic-level sync with whichever song is pulsing in his IPod ear bud. Baby soundtracks his world because music drowns out his tinnitus – the “hum in the drum”- he sustained from a scarring childhood trauma that also broke his IPod Classic (a big fear of mine). Ansel Elgort plays Baby (or is that his real name), and provides a dreamy, genius smooth lead, perfectly sailing through Wrights dramatic film shots.
It’s best not to compare Wrights previous films: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim VS. The World to this piece, partly because this is a massive departure from being an out and out comedy. The action and drama successfully takes centre stage whilst retaining some light humour. A music video from the early 2000’s featuring Noel Fielding, Julian Barrett and Nick Frost robbing a bank, uses Noel as the driver; a sight extremely similar to the entire concept of Baby Driver. Clearly Wright has had the idea for a while.
A short clip remains in the feature length film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfrcZsKcVxU
Kevin Spacey plays Doc, a snarky crime boss and Baby’s ‘agent’ who arranges his ‘jobs’ alongside a new team of crooks each time. These include: Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Eliza Gonzalez, each bringing excellent villainy and an intriguing backstory. A small role of Baby’s mother, Sky Ferreira, is also a welcome view. Some comedy and trauma is provided in the form of Baby’s deaf foster father Joseph, CJ Jones, whom I believe has the most interesting back-story of them all. Lily James plays Deborah, Baby’s diner waitress girlfriend, who recapitulates their dream goal in the film’s finale: “heading west on 20 in a car I can’t afford, with a plan I don’t have.” Resonating with all those who crave the freedom the open roads has to offer.