Movie Review: Baby Driver

Movie Review: Baby Driver


Genre: Musical Car Chase Action Comedy

Rating: R

Running Time: 113 mins.

Premise: Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver who drowns out the ringing in his ear by listening to music. After completing “one last job” he is forced into taking what could be his most dangerous drive yet.

Behind-the-Scenes: Edgar Wright has been dreaming up this movie for the last 20 years. When his take on Ant-Man was scrapped by Marvel due to “creative differences,” he poured himself into this passion project and got Sony to pony up $34 million to make it. The soundtrack is nearly wall-to-wall music so I’m sure the music clearance person had their work cut out for them.

The Good: Original, inventive and stylish in spades, this is the summer movie we’ve been waiting for. I’ve liked every Wright movie before this one, and he continues to deliver. The performances are enjoyable across the board. Jamie Foxx does really nice work, balancing the humor of Wright’s dialogue with just the right amount of menace. Kevin Spacey kills as the kingpin who takes a fatherly sheen to Baby. The music is great – Wright and his collaborators have culled a treasure trove of rare and well-known 60s and 70s songs that you can’t believe Quentin Tarantino hasn’t already used. Shootouts and action beats are in sync with the songs making this almost a musical. The car chases are exciting and the stuntwork relies more on practical effects than CGI. The opening credits set to Bob & Earl’s “Harlem Shuffle” feature some of the most joyous filmmaking you’ll see all year. Wright peppers the movie with various in-jokes and callbacks that reward a second viewing.

The Bad: There are a few too many endings in the third act mostly due to certain characters coming back when you thought they were dead. Some of the character motivations in the final act don’t quite track. The love story between Baby and Lily James’ waitress is cute but insubstantial.

Should You See It?: YES. Baby Driver is a shot of pure, adrenalized cinema in a summer that’s been woefully short of it.

Star Rating: ****1/2 out of 5 stars.

Better Than: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Drive

Worse Than: Shaun of the Dead

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