a critiQal film review Baby Driver (2017)

Plot: A talented, young getaway driver (Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

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When looking for a newer film to review, we ran across Edgar Wright’s latest, Baby Driver, and knew we had found the movie to watch this weekend. After all, we still remember Shaun of the Dead (2004) (and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)) fondly, so couldn’t wait to see what he had come out with next.

So, has director Edgar Wright lost a step? Or is Baby Driver another can’t miss? And what’s up with the title? With all sorts of questions running through our head, we settled in to check out the film.

Ansel Elgort, who has popped up before in Divergent (2014), takes on the title role in Baby Driver. It’s an interesting character, and he does a good job of fleshing out the role as he goes. At the start, he’s mute, barely saying two words. As the film progresses, he opens up, and as the viewer learns more about the character, he starts talking more. It’s a great idea to slowly introduce the character to audiences, and Ansel, at first seemingly an odd choice as he’s definitely not the gangster-type, is a good choice for bringing the character to audiences. The character is an odd one, and Ansel does a very good job in bringing that oddity to life, yet managing to make the character endearing at the same time.

Lily James and Kevin Spacey are decent co-stars in Baby Driver, but it’s the special guest stars that steal the show. When Jon Bernthal (“The Punisher” (TV)) puts in a brief appearance as a thug, viewers get a little something extra. But, when Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx show up, as a coke-fueled thug and a gangster, respectively, they start taking over. While the film keeps it’s focus on Ansel, it gives these two leeway to show what they’ve got, making both Hamm and Foxx highlights of the film.

Baby Driver showcases the style that Edgar Wright is known for. With an odd character at it’s core, and some crazy action sequences mixed with a constant wry sense of humor, the film follows right along in the footsteps of both Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010). While Wright turned both the zom-com and the video game/comic book genres on the their heads with his previous films, Baby Driver brings something new to the driving genre. Boasting an impressive sequence right at the start to get things rolling, the film keeps pulling from it’s bag of driving tricks throughout. And Edgar manages to capture the intensity of the moments with precision, which will easily keep the viewer on the edge of their seat during the stunt performances.

With an interesting plot, an intriguingly unique main character, and some standout performances from Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm, there’s already a lot going for Baby Driver. Toss in director Edgar Wright’s proven ability to keep make odd characters interesting, a funky soundtrack reminiscent of a Quentin Tarantino flick, and some fancy driving tricks that seem to have been given new life…it all adds up to another win for Edgar Wright.

Just like Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Baby Driver is a quirky movie that turns out to be a lot more fun than it first appears. Check it out today. You won’t be disappointed.

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