'Baby Driver' review: Come for action, stay for music

Wade Massey
June 28, 2017

Among his rotating cast of psychos are characters played by the likes of Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal and Flea. This is the song of the summer in movie form, a playful ode to auto chases, Motown, diners, that moment when you find the exact tune that matches your mood, driving stick, crime capers, '80s movies and love. I myself got the opportunity to watch Baby Driver in an early show and this is my review.... This attracts the police, and Baby, along with fellow robbers (and marrieds) Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), make a break for it.

"The opening sequence (a auto chase set to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's "Bellbottoms") was extremely complicated", Wright says, "but at least you knew at the end of the day it was going to be exactly five minutes long". "I have a thing when the music is not good, I say, let's get something to eat". His cars drift, spin and fly over embankments just like in other chase movies. Nor should it, really - it would be brutal to sustain something like that for the duration of a film (and we already have "Mad Max: Fury Road"). So he drives that one too. Will he stay bad, opt for a life on the straight and narrow, or is it too late to even make a decision?

AE: No but we did meet someone who had robbed 15 separate banks. He doesn't say much, ever, and he always has a pair of headphones in his ears.

And there are vehicle chases, lots of them, all perfectly cut to the diegetic music playing in Baby's ears.

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is an on call getaway driver for a heist runner Doc (Kavin Spacey).

Things get a bit hairy when Baby falls for Deborah (Lily James, whose accent needs work), a waitress who happens to work at his mom's old diner. James is enormously appealing as this dreamer who shares her beau's wish "to head west on the 20, in a vehicle we can't afford, with a plan we don't have".

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Edgar Wright's movies are known for upending their supposed genres.

Elgort is pretty charming as Baby - which is a tough part to get right.

Baby Driver is not a musical in the traditional sense, but it's definitely a musical film, and anyone who enjoys movies that are filled with songs will no doubt have a ball watching this one. (It was his best film.) "Baby Driver" seems confused as to where its headed, and its lack of follow-through hurts the overall picture. He's clearly having a good time, playing cool customer in front of his criminal cohort, shimmying his way through the streets when they're not looking; he's an excellent dancer, and not a self-conscious one, which is key. They deserve just as much credit as Wright for how the action sequences come together.

Writer-director Edgar Wright has made an effective ode to cinematic vehicle chases, cool music, and the way that listening to cool music can make you feel like you're in a cinematic auto chase. Running time: 1 hour 53 minutes.

And then go see Baby Driver a second time, maybe three or four days later, once it's marinated into your state of being, and you find yourself only wanting to talk about it with your friends who for whatever reason still haven't seen it???

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