Baby Driver (Tristar, Big Talk, Working Title, MRC) Cert 15, 113 mins
Aah Edgar Wright you ludicrously talented man. One of the creative forces behind one of my favourite TV shows (Spaced) and awesome films like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and The World’s End, in my view he’s probably one of the most talented writer-directors around. He chooses his projects sparingly and Baby Driver is only his third feature film of this decade. Which is kind of a shame but good things come to those who wait…
I would imagine he has studios pitched outside his house with trucks full of scripts waiting to receive the Edgar Wright treatment. They’ll be stationed next to the folks with wheelbarrows of cash to take his shopping list for the week and pay him to turn it into a film. He’s certainly earned the right to pick and choose his projects so it’s with a tremendous deal of pleasure I can tell you that Baby Driver is worth the wait.
It opens in a blaze of music and tyre smoke and rarely drops off the pace set by a thrilling high speed car chase across a city following a bank robbery. The Baby Driver of the title is Baby – a young man with an insane gift for driving who lives his life through an ever present set of headphones and army of iPods to provide the soundtrack for his escapades.
Orphaned at a young age in a car crash and afflicted with a nasty dose of tinnitus (look after your ears kids, it’s about as much fun as having your fingernails clipped with a sword, trust me on this) Baby is in tow with gang boss Doc (Kevin Spacey channelling some Frank Underwood) to pay back a debt. He’s the getaway driver for Doc’s heists who’s never been caught thanks to his driving skills.
Baby (played with maximum coolness by Ansel Elgort) thinks he’s almost paid off his debt and after meeting pretty diner waitress Debora is looking forward to putting his life of crime behind him, especially after being on a job where aptly named lunatic criminal Bats (an absolutely bang on-form Jamie Foxx) does some things that don’t sit well with Baby.
The young couple dream of heading west and leaving it all behind but when you’re in the life of crime up to your neck it’s hard to get away even with driving skills like Baby so they find themselves caught up in a major heist which goes spectacularly south. Bullets and cars start flying and crashing all over the screen as the film reaches an explosive climax. And it’s flipping awesome!
There’s so much to like about Baby Driver. The driving scenes in the film are exceptional and the best thing about them is that virtually everything was done in camera. None of your Fast & Furious CGI here – director Wright has opted for real life action and it pays off in some of the best car chases I’ve seen on the big screen for a long time. They’re fast, intense and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Or in my case putting my feet down like I’m doing the driving.
The soundtrack is also brilliant. Action is seamlessly blended with some of the music and fans of Edgar Wright’s style and talent will not go away disappointed. It’s a potent and heady mix of sharp dialogue, kick ass action and daredevil driving all set to perfectly matched songs. Perfect.
This film rocks. I’d happily jump back in the car and go back round again with Baby Driver. Edgar Wright has come up with a film that for me is all that’s good about going to the movies. It’s a fun ride which accelerates away from the start line with glee, delivers exceptional entertainment as it pushes on and blasts through the finish line with a magnificent flourish. It’s one I watched with a smile on my face all the way through.
We don’t get films like this very often so do yourself a favour and catch it! If you can…