Tony's Take

BABY DRIVER review

All You Need is One Killer Track

Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver” opens as a young getaway driver is jamming to music in his car, waiting for his crew to finish the heist so he can get away safely.  As they escape, we are taken on an adrenaline-fueled chase that has them narrowly avoid jail time thanks to the skills of the young driver.  We soon learn this is Baby, a tinnitus-suffering, music-obsessed kid with a criminal past who got in-deep with the wrong person.  Job after job, he works to pay-off his debt to his boss, Doc.  With the end approaching, Baby realizes he wants to completely rid himself of his life of crime and start over.  Things are going well and he meets a nice young girl, but the life of crime pulls him back-in for one more job.  Despite his desire to say no, he realizes that he has to drive.  The rest of the film follows Baby’s struggle with the heist and all of his moral obligations, both to himself and those he loves.

Ansel Elgort stars as the music-obsessed, talented and stylish getaway driver, Baby.  Elgort is charismatic and showcases the character’s emotions quite well.  Lily James plays Debora, a young waitress at a diner that Baby falls-for.  Kevin Spacey plays Doc, the ring leader who sets-up each heist. Jon Hamm plays a thief used by Doc, Buddy.  Eiza González plays a fellow thief and Buddy’s lover, Darling.  Jamie Foxx plays a wild card thief used by Doc, Bats.  Jon Bernthal plays another one in the crew, Griff.  Flea (from Red Hot Chili Peppers) has a small role as another thief, Eddie No-Nose.  Sky Ferreira plays Baby’s mom and the inspiration for his love of music.  Paul Williams, Big Boi, Killer Mike, and Jon Spencer all have brief roles in the film as well.

It’s not very often that a film like “Baby Driver” comes our way; equal parts stylish and explosive, it’s a true cinematic achievement for the ages!  Where do I begin?!  First of all, “Baby Driver” boasts an impressive cast and it is the characters that make the film.  Elgort and James share a remarkable and innocent chemistry that endears-us to them.  Spacey is menacing as the leverage-holding mastermind and Hamm, Foxx, González, and Bernthal all add their own “twist” to their criminal personas.  As you’ve undoubtedly heard, the film also has many impressive action sequences that steal the show.  The driving stunt work is incredibly impressive, one-upping the previous sequence over-and-over; while simultaneously showcasing the city of Atlanta.  The cars used throughout the film are beautiful as well.  Another aspect that makes “Baby Driver” the film that it is, its soundtrack.  Music across all different genres and decades boom through the speakers, with each song adding its own injection of DNA into the film.  The soundtrack includes over 30 songs (ranging from artists like Queen and The Commodores to Simon & Garfunkel and The Beach Boys), but each one is used for a precise and exact purpose and they never feel like just an “inclusion”.  The action and the music combine to serve as a beautiful ode to cinema, both new and classic.  Edgar Wright has given-us some of the most memorable and bad-ass films of the last 15 years (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, etc.), so it should come as no surprise that his latest, “Baby Driver”, adds a whole new level to the word “awesome”!  While the film’s first two-thirds seemingly-appear glamorous, the film’s final third are a heavy dose of reality that brilliantly serves as the yin to the earlier yang.  “Baby Driver” has a run time of 113 minutes, never slowing down or dragging as is speeds-through its’ kick-ass story!  “Baby Driver” is that rare mixture of bad-ass fun and cinematic excellence, with a lot of music sprinkled on top; giving us not only one of the best films of the year, but one of the most explosively-fun films in a long time!

“Baby Driver” follows the story of a young, talented getaway as he attempts to leave-behind his life of crime in Atlanta.  The film features plenty of impressive car chase and action sequences, a colorful cast of criminals, and a foot-tapping, energetic soundtrack!  If you are heading to the movies this weekend, make “Baby Driver” your must see!!

 5/5

BABY DRIVER is rated R for violence and language throughout, in theaters JUNE 28TH!

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