From the word “GO!”, Edgar Wright’s ‘Baby Driver’ is a vehicle that never runs out of gas (or tunes) for the trip. Each and every moment is non-stop action and master film-making that Wright uses to full potential. With every drive young Baby (Ansel Elgort) makes, the action is exciting, as well as dangerous. At every turn, danger never quits and he has to be in the middle of it. Why does Baby drive? What is he doing there? And most importantly, “What is the thing with the music in his ears?”, most characters who question him and his ability to be a getaway driver, ask Doc (Kevin Spacey), the crime boss who sets up all the robberies Baby has to be a part of. The story behind Baby’s condition, location, and job, is quite tragic. When he was a little kid, Baby’s parents died in a car crash leaving him with tinnitus, or “a hum in the drum” as Doc calls it; (Don’t worry, that wasn’t a spoiler! It was in the trailer!) the only way Baby can drown out the ringing in his ear is to have music playing in his ear at almost all times. Not only does this make him the best getaway driver in the business, it also serves as the film’s main soundtrack.
They say that the best thing about a movie is its soundtrack. Films, such as ‘Purple Rain’, ‘Heavy Metal’, ‘Space Jam’, and most recently Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Vol. 2’ are testaments to this fact. ‘Baby Driver’ is a love letter to such movies whose soundtracks are worth blasting on your car while cruising on the highway to your destination. Every song is a throwback to the golden years of classic rock (back when music was actually worth listening to.) Hits, such as T-Rex’s ‘Debora’, The Commodores’ ‘Easy’, Golden Earring’s ‘Radar Love’ and Button Down Brass’ ‘Tequila’ make appearances during the most important moments in the movie, while some songs are used for style and film-making with the action sequences set to the beat of the music, making this every music video director’s wet dream. (Wright actually directed the music video for Mint Royale’s ‘Blue Song’, which inspired the premise for this film.) The first 15-20 minutes even feel like stylized music videos with Baby lip-syncing to the tunes on his iPod. While this may seem ridiculous at first, these elements are what add to the style that ‘Baby Driver’ is brimming with.
However, it isn’t just the music that makes ‘Baby Driver’ a worthwhile road trip. The cast of characters and their performances add to the tension, thrills, and drama. Elgort gives off a sympathetic and likable vibe as Baby, who really wants to give up the life of crime, and start a relationship with his new girlfriend Debora (Lily James), a waitress he gets acquainted with at a place called “Bo’s Diner”; but Doc wants him for one more getaway with his crew of baddies (all great performances), the sadistic Bats (Jamie Foxx pulling off his best Samuel L. Jackson performance), and the husband-and-wife team Buddy (Jon Hamm in his best performance) and Darling (Eiza Gonzalez). They are off to pull more bank robberies. They may not be the best people to meet in real life, but in the movie, you have fun with each quip and banter these characters have, and want to join them along for the ride.
‘Baby Driver’ starts up with a steady pace with the gas it runs, yet with each bank robbery, getaway action sequence, and bloody shootouts, it puts the pedal to the metal, leading up to a thrilling climax that is sure to get your blood pumping and your adrenaline rush at an all-time high with some amazing music to get you in the spirit! With ‘Baby Driver’, you are in for a real wild ride!!