Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx
Run Time: 113 mins
‘Baby Driver’ is the new film by Edgar Wright, one of my favourite directors who was behind ‘The Blood and Ice-Cream Trilogy’ (or also known as ‘The Cornetto Trilogy’). Wright famously departed from ‘Ant-Man‘ when he had creative differences with Marvel and instead chose to work on this original piece. ‘Baby Driver’ tells the story of self-titled Baby, a young getaway driver played by Ansel Elgort who has been forced into working for Kevin Spacey’s intimidating crime boss. After a car accident when he was younger, Baby suffers from severe tinnitus so he constantly listens to music to drown out the noise, the backdrop to which the film is set to. Wright’s car-chase / musical concept is certainly a ballsy idea and the film is not too dissimilar from films such as ‘The Blues Brothers’ for example and it’s a been a very long time since a film of this ilk has been made. Wright has assembled a strong cast comprising of Elgort and Spacey but also Lily James, who serves as Baby’s love interest who also shares a passion for music, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal and Eiza González as part of Spacey’s crime crew.
‘Baby Driver’ is an utterly infectious film that is meticulously directed by Edgar Wright and is expertly paced – the film left me giddy with excitement! The action sequences are choreographed to a tee with several heart-pounding yet knowingly absurd car chases that put franchises such as ‘Fast and Furious’ to shame for managing to craft something far more engaging at a fraction of the budget. It is superbly acted by the cast all-round and Wright has his fingerprints all over this – this is very much an Edgar Wright film through and through.
I owe an apology to Ansel Elgort – he’s played in some terrible films such as the ‘Divergent’ franchise but ‘Baby Driver’ feels as though this is the role he was born to play. Elgort seems to be having a lot of fun here too and manages to pull of the quiet yet skilful personality that Baby has. Lily James is also great here and Jon Hamm hopefully receives a revitilisation of his career. Kevin Spacey is gleefuly maniacal as the feared crime boss who is well developed as the film plays its course. Perhaps someone who will be overlooked but deserves a big mention in CJ Jones who plays Baby’s deaf foster father who is actually deaf in real life but does a great job and balances comedy with heart.
Music is a huge part in the film and the entire film is choreographed so well to the well-chosen playlist Edgar Wright has carefully selected. The film pretty much is a musical of sorts and Wright’s visual and editing style fit very naturally. Steven Price’s original score is minimalistic but works in the short capacity it has in the film. Bill Pope’s cinematography also manages to wonderfully capture the action being portrayed on-screen and the film almost has a graphic novel feel at times. Pope shoots the car chase sequences with ease and offers alternative angles to ones you would normally expect.
It is so refreshing to see Edgar Wright back in the game after battling with ‘Ant-Man’ and instead of finding a similar big-budget project, has kept things small. ‘Baby Driver’ is a highly original work that is deserving of the heavy praise it is recieving and Wright has nothing to worry about career-wise if he can continue to make projects like this with the same amount of craft and skill. It features some great performances and I genuinely cared for all the characters, even antagonistic ones and the action sequences are breathtaking to behold. It is one of the best films of the year and I urge you to see it on the biggest screen you can!