With a soundtrack that rouses even the dreariest of spirits, and sublime action to match it, ‘Baby Driver’ is pretty unique in 2017 cinematic terms; a brilliantly crafted tale that draws you in, grips you tightly and leaves you more than satisfied come its wholesome conclusion.
The auteur of a few of my personal favourite films,’Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ among them, Edgar Wright has done it again. Sure it may borrow traits from his own previous work (humourous scene involving flicking through TV channels – check) and contain slabs of Hollywood cheese every now and then, namely between lovebirds Ansel Elgort’s titular Baby and Lily James’ Debora, but it retains sheer originality, and moments of brilliance.
To sum up the winding yarn of story, Elgort’s Baby owes a debt to Kevin Spacey’s chief heist-planner Doc, and is involved in driving crims to and from their dastardly thefts, but there’s a twist. Baby listens to music during said heist scenes to aid his crippling tinnitus, and so what we, the audience, have is a film in which almost every scene is soundtracked by our hero, Baby.
What follows, in the wrong hands, could be ripe for unintentional humour, but is dealt with perfectly by Wright, knowing exactly when to play what song and the stylish scenes we get are perfectly put together. It’s said Wright secured the rights to the soundtrack before production, a rarity in the movies, and so during filming blared out the music to the appropriate scene, adding only to the ensuing madness this film manages to create.
The supporting cast of Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey and Eiza Gonzalez are great, fully realised characters, even when they are bad-blooded baddies you care about them. But the duo of Elgort and James is perfect, the two have magnetic chemistry, and you truly believe in them as a romance. A mention, too, must go to CJ Jones, who plays Baby’s guardian. A deaf actor, Jones delivers a star turn, his and Baby’s actions, totally wordless offer a few of the more heart-wrenching moments throughout, as well as more of the humourous too!
Can I talk about THAT soundtrack again? It’s bloody brilliant, for starters, each song is key to each scene, and you genuinely find yourself looking forward to find out the next tune to burst from Baby’s iPod onto the surround sound cinema system. It’s fair to say my morning commutes to work will be filled with the beats from this playlist for a little while. The stunts and driving in the film too, will make even the most timid driver want to drift their way home from their screening.
I genuinely cannot recommend ‘Baby Driver’ enough. It’s a breath of fresh air, among your ‘Fast & Furious’ and ‘Transformers’ franchises that seemingly never die, is a piece of work that manages to deliver both in terms of ballsy action, humour, emotion, and most importantly, FUN! If you’re after a fun thrill at the cinema, then you cannot do much better than give ‘Baby Driver’ a go, it’s definitely the most fun I’ve had at the cinema yet in 2017.
Have you seen ‘Baby Driver’? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!