BABY DRIVER – A Review by John Strange
You look at film titles and you can't help but make a few assumptions about the films before you know anything else about them. Baby Driver is one of those films. What the heck?
Then you see the writer/director is Edgar Wright (The World's End, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, and many more). Hmm, may be worth watching. Next you find out about the cast: Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards, Superman Returns, American Beauty), Lily James (Downton Abbey, Cinderella), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), and Jamie Foxx (In Living Color, The Jamie Foxx Show, Ray). Wow! But I have seen great casts in terrible films. Just what is this film about?
Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a young man with a penchant for stealing and driving cars. He made the mistake of stealing a car from the wrong man. Doc (Kevin Spacey) was decidedly not happy about losing the car but more so with what was in the trunk. He got the car back but decides Baby will have to work off the value of the goods. You see, Doc plans heists. He hires a different crew for each one. Different crews with one exception, Baby is his designated driver.
Is Baby any good? Watch the opening sequences of the film and you'll know that we have a class "A" action film. I have not seen a chase scene to match the escapes in this film in a long time. Baby's instincts are enhanced by the tunes playing on his iPod (one of several he carries, selecting the unit according to current conditions).
The heists are made memorable by the selection of the crews. Doc shows that he is truly a mastermind when he mixes thieves with other thieves they haven't worked with before and most likely never will again.
While this is going on, Baby has a life totally disconnected from his driving. The young man is caring for the foster father (CJ Jones) who raised him following the death of his parents in a car wreck. He is also wooing a sweet young lady, Debora (Lily James), who waitresses at a local diner. But we know that events inevitably go to…heck, the foster father and waitress get dragged into the rapidly unraveling team of thieves.
This film has everything that we look for in a great action film. It has kick-ass chase scenes, explosive interactions between the thieves, great love interactions, and of course, an amazing soundtrack. Ansel once again proves he is a talent to keep an eye on. The supporting cast, especially Spacey, Hamm, Foxx, and Bernthal bring their A-games. The entire cast brings Edgar Wright's words to life with a spirit that we can feel as we sit in our theater seats. LOVED.THIS.FILM. It's a perfect summer flick.
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, with Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx
MPAA Rating: R
Selig Rating: A+
Runtime: 113 Min.
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.