Starring: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey
Director: Edgar Wright
Running Time: 112 mins
Baby Driver is an American film about a young man with a love for music and a talent for driving who is coerced into working as a getaway driver on a series of heists, working with criminal personalities with whom he finds it impossible to have a smooth ride.
This might just be the coolest film I’ve ever seen. Powering along at a lightning speed to the tune of a stunning soundtrack, and popping with energetic performances across the board, as well as some exceptionally stylish directing, Baby Driver is an exciting, rapid-fire and triumphant piece of entertainment, and a film you won’t be able to take your eyes and ears off for one second.
Let’s start with what really makes this film so stunning: the directing. From the legendary Cornetto Trilogy and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, we know how well Edgar Wright can direct a movie, with his iconic fast editing and rapid-fire comedy.
What’s interesting about Baby Driver, however, is the fact that it’s quite a lot different from Wright’s previous films. For one, it’s not a comedy. While it does have a brilliant sense of humour, and is a hell of a lot of fun to watch, it’s not a film that’s designed to make you laugh out loud again and again like Hot Fuzz and Shaun Of The Dead. Instead, the best entertainment comes from the visual and audial rollercoaster ride that Edgar Wright takes you on throughout the movie.
First off, Wright’s visual style is a little different from his previous movies. The film’s opening act, for example, is full of long, sweeping takes that differ hugely from his traditional quick cutting. However, when used in the context of an insane car chase through the city of Atlanta, it has a very similar effect, and kicks the film off with some hugely exciting sequences.
In the final act, however, Edgar Wright really does come into his own when he brings back his legendary editing techniques, and in tandem with those new spectacular long takes, the entire action finale is exceptionally exciting to watch, with the pulsating beat from those quick cuts working brilliantly with the more grandiose and elegant effect from those sweeping shots.
What’s more about Baby Driver is that it’s absolutely popping with so many vibrant colours. As brutal and even violent as some of the crime story is, you can’t help but smile from ear to ear at every moment simply because the film is so bright and enjoyable, with the bright reds of some of Baby’s cars, the bright lights of the nearby diners, and the dazzling police sirens that add another level of visual exhilaration to the mix.
But it’s not just a visually thrilling film, because what really sets Baby Driver apart from so many brilliant action movies is how much of an audial experience it is as well. Centring around a character who listens to music when he drives, the film is set to an amazing soundtrack, barely stopping at all throughout the movie, playing whenever Baby has his earphones in, and giving the film such an amazing pace and rhythm that lasts from the very first to the very last scene.
On the whole, it’s pretty clear that Edgar Wright’s directing here is beyond brilliant, but it’s not just his directing that makes the film so good, because his screenplay is equally thrilling. With a genuinely engaging crime story focusing on an interesting central character, the film does brilliantly to prove itself as more than just an action extravaganza, and manages to get you on the edge of your seat with its fantastically exciting, unpredictable and non-stop plot.
But it’s not just Edgar Wright that runs the show here, because the performances are also fantastic. Despite a brief hiccup in the opening act, all of the actors do brilliantly with some hugely energetic and entertaining performances. From Ansel Elgort’s effortlessly cool turn as Baby, to Jamie Foxx’s brilliant show as a hothead criminal that threatens to derail all the plans, and from Kevin Spacey’s smooth but sly crime boss to Lily James’ effortlessly delightful love interest, all of the performances here are fantastic, and bring so much to the table when it comes to adding even more energy and life into an already exhilarating film.
Overall, I absolutely loved Baby Driver. It’s a film that snowballs brilliantly throughout, starting fast but never stopping as it turns into a relentless and effortlessly exhilarating action thriller by the end. With unbelievably stylish and energetic direction from Edgar Wright that defines the film’s brilliance, as well as a brilliant screenplay and fantastic performances across the board, Baby Driver is the very definition of entertainment, and that’s why I’m giving it an 8.7.