The first thing that interested me in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver was the cast. Kevin Spacey, Ansel Egort, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx in a film? It had to be a good one. It’s such a diverse cast of actors with vastly different backgrounds but not one of them felt like they had been cast too radically. In fact, it almost seems like these characters were written specifically for the actors who portray them.
But, before I get too ahead of myself, what exactly is Baby Driver? It mostly slipped in under the radar this summer. While audiences were going (or not going) to see the typical tentpole film of the summer, Baby Driver arrived quietly and left quietly.
Baby Driver tells the story of Baby (yes, Baby) a kid with tinnitus who happens to be a getaway driver for a rich and powerful crime boss name Doc (Kevin Spacey). Baby is an indentured servant. Before the film, he stole Doc’s car which was full of “merchandise” which Baby pawned for money. As a result, Doc hires him so Baby can pay him back. Just when he thinks he’s done with his life of crime, and after he meets his new girlfriend, Deborah, Doc coerces him to take another job. However, Doc doesn’t use the same team twice and Baby’s life soon spirals out of control and he has to risk everything to keep those he cares for safe.
There is a lot going on Baby Driver and Wright masterfully juggles every little point to a ‘T’. Baby is a kick-ass driver with even more kick-ass tunes and the music he listens to serves as a perfect background soundtrack to the getaway sequences this film is littered with. There are also brilliant jokes everywhere. I laughed almost the entire time, however, it should be noted that this isn’t just a comedy. It’s a balls to the wall, white-knuckle, heist film that had me on the edge of my seat until the very end.
If you think you have an idea of how it’s going to end, you don’t. Wright has written a taut and impenetrable screenplay that has the hallmarks of popular heist films, including one killer opening scene that will make car chase lovers drool. A simple word of advice, don’t get attached to too many of the characters. The body count is high here and it’s unpredictable and messy and yet so dang good.
The film is, as stated in the title, choreographed to perfection as well. Wright’s attention to detail is on full display even from the beginning. After the car chase opening, the audience is introduced to Doc and the crew and before they get down to business, it’s easy to see why Wright hired a choreographer for the film.
In all, Baby Driver is a great film. It’s fun and funny yet crazy and thrilling. It’s a fantastic introduction to Edgar Wright if you’ve never seen his work.