A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
What We Thought:
I liked Baby Driver. I liked it a lot, but I wanted a bit more from it. Honestly, I think my expectations hurt it a bit. I walked in wanting it to be my favorite film of the year. It’s in my top 10 so far, but I guess it couldn’t meet the high expectations.
The film is about Baby (Ansel Elgort), a driver with hearing issues who’s trying to pay off a debt to a crime boss (Kevin Spacey). He does a few jobs with different crews under Spacey including working with Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, Jamie Foxx, Eiza Gonzalez and others. He gets wrapped up in one final job which doesn’t go according to plan.
I’ve seen Elgort in some previous films, but they weren’t for me. I’m not exactly the target audience for the Divergent series or The Fault in Our Stars. I wasn’t sure if I liked him as an actor because of it. After seeing him handle his own opposite Spacey, Foxx, Hamm and others in this, I gotta say, I like him. I thought he was fantastic as Baby. He has a believable love interest with Lily James and handles the crime scenes really well. He’s only in his early 20s and he didn’t feel out-of-place going to toe to toe with his older, more experienced co-stars.
Like all of Director Edgar Wright’s films, music plays a big role in the movie. The soundtrack is all over the map in terms of genres and style. Baby uses music to calm himself and get himself ready to drive and while driving. The music in the film is as important to the film as Elgort’s performance or Wright’s direction. It gives the flick a cool vibe from start to finish. Chase films are usually cool to begin with and you can see the ones that influenced Wright, add in a killer soundtrack and the movie is a fun ride (pun intended).
So I liked the lead actor and the acting overall. I liked the soundtrack as well. I’m always a fan of crime capers so what is it that is missing from the film that makes it not be my number 1 movie of the year? I honestly don’t know. Wright’s direction is pretty spot on and it has his classic shots you recognize from his previous films. The story is understandable and the action scenes are fun. I don’t know if the chase scenes will rival The French Connection, but they aren’t as over the top ludicrous like in the Fast & the Furious franchise. So again, what is missing?
Even though it didn’t quite meet expectations, I still highly recommend Baby Driver. There’s nothing like it at theaters currently and it’s a good film for adults who don’t want to watch comic book characters or giant robots. The film feels like an homage to things Wright likes and grew up with. Lily James’ character and her job at a diner seem like a page out of Twin Peaks. The chase scenes are definitely Old Hollywood, on the street sequences as are the robberies and gun fights. It’s a cool film with great music that I will watch again, I just don’t know what I would change to make it better.
Cast & Crew:
- Ansel Elgort
- Kevin Spacey
- Lily James
- Jon Bernthal
- Eiza Gonzalez
- Jon Hamm
- Jamie Foxx
- Edgar Wright
Recommended If You Like:
- Edgar Wright Films
- Crime Dramas
- Car Chase Films