There is something that is just brilliant about films containing car chases and heists, this is probably why the Fast and Furious franchise is incredibly successful. But whilst the Fast and Furious is entering the realms of ridiculousness, Edgar Wright’s newest venture Baby Driver remains grounded.
And it also contains one of the funniest opening sequences, as Baby (Ansel Elgort) jives in his getaway car to Bellbottoms whilst the heist crew wreck havoc inside the bank. What is toe-tappingly infectious soon becomes heart-poundingly exciting as the crew evade the police around Atlanta. The camera placements within this sequence plant you straight in the action and Ansel just looked comfortable behind the wheel.
What was surprising was that usually the narrative of car chase films are often just driven (pardon the pun) by the flashy cars and heists. Not Baby Driver, this film had heart and it stemmed from Baby as he cares for his foster father Joe. (CJ Jones) And this is surprising from the stern-faced Baby driving the Subaru around Atlanta, to this care-free young man dancing around the kitchen making his foster father a peanut butter sandwich.
Baby suffers from tinnitus, so he soundtracks his own life with an abundance of iPods that depend on his mood. He uses music to drown out the constant ringing, but this produces some extraordinary scenes within the film. From the first coffee run where he is dancing down the street, to action sequences that are perfectly timed with the music.
The power of soundtracks have become something to behold as Guardians of the Galaxy paved the way in this modern age, but Baby Driver is head and shoulders above with the aforementioned perfect use.
As the film is based around Baby being the getaway driver for Doc (Kevin Spacey), what I wasn’t anticipating was the film to have genuine characters throughout, especially as Baby and Debora (Lily James) develop a relationship, to which Lily James and Ansel Elgort share great chemistry as the young lovers.
And Wright makes sure each character has their time on screen, from the small role of Griff (Jon Bernthal) to Jon Hamm in a meatier role as Buddy, which was great down the stretch. I soon realised that Jamie Foxx was playing the same character as Eddie Jones in Horrible Bosses, but in Baby Driver his character Bats had something extra that wasn’t apparent in Horrible Bosses.
As well producing some incredibly comedic scenes, namely the Mike Myers mix-up, Edgar Wright also made some tense sequences in Baby Driver. This is probably exemplified by Kevin Spacey channeling Frank Underwood as Doc as he quietly threatens Baby into driving for him again.
“And err, your waitress girlfriend’s cute.. Let’s keep it that way”
Edgar Wright is fastly becoming one of my favourite directors to watch, as he is just producing some incredible films in recent memory and Baby Driver is no different. He has mastered the perfect blend of action and narrative, and didn’t need to rely on people explaining the narrative. He had everything nailed down to a T, from the characters to the music and the narrative having enough to envelope you in the story.
All the characters had great chemistry and I thought the narrative took a brilliant and largely unforeseen turn with the characters. The film is just short of two hours, but I could have happily watched it continue for another two hours. Baby Driver is fast-paced when it needs to be, and also manages to take it’s foot off the pedal when necessary. It is helped by everyone chipping in on the acting front, but when it is backed up by the soundtrack and that masterful blend of action and narrative it shows. Baby Driver has become one of my favourite films of the year so far, and all I wanted to do was go back in and see it again.