This is not a movie you want to ruin by reading spoilers. If you haven’t seen Baby Driver yet, I highly recommend you see it soon and then come back to this review.
I wasn’t planning on seeing Baby Driver until I saw a tweet mentioning it and decided to look up the ratings. I was shocked that the trailer I ignored before every YouTube video for a month was getting such amazing reviews. I clearly misjudged this movie and decided I needed to see it as soon as possible, and I’m glad I did.
I’ve learned to expect a certain level of quirk and intensity from any Edgar Wright movie and Baby Driver did not disappoint. This was an action movie packed with tender moments and hilarious comedic scenes. Learning about Baby’s past, watching him fall in love, and realizing a life of crime was going to be near impossible to escape made this movie a roller coaster of thrills, laughs and emotions.
The movie started off with a bang. Watching Ansel Elgort dancing and lip syncing while waiting for his crew was hilarious but once that heist was over, the light-hearted Baby became the best get-away driver in Atlanta. His driving was wickedly fun to watch and his music selection made each chase a new experience so you never got bored at the idea of a car chase. You could see him calculating his route in his head while responding in split seconds to environmental interferences. Even on foot, whether running from the cops or walking to get coffee, Baby was fun to watch decide his path. Everything from car chases to making sandwiches seemed like a dance that Baby had mastered. He was calm, cool, and smooth.
Along with great action sequences, this movie had some captivating and fun characters. Jamie Foxx can always pull off a crazy villain type so his character Bats was spot-on. His dislike for Baby and spontaneous actions made him a great conflicting character from the rest of the group. I was always anxious to see how Bats would respond to situations in the movie, keeping me on the edge of my seat. Jon Hamm and Eliza González were hilarious to watch flirt in the most awkward of situations. When things got serious and Darling was killed, Buddy’s transformation into the seemingly indestructible revenge seeking madman was brutal.
Obviously I couldn’t write this review without discussing Baby himself. I’ve never seen Ansel Elgort act in anything before so I was thoroughly impressed. His portrayal of the sensitive, lovable get-away driver was touching. Baby was thrown into a life of crime and was never allowed to escape. While he lived in a world of thugs and thieves, he had a heart of gold and simple taste. He loved his foster dad, he loved his girl, and he loved his music. Baby was wronged his whole life so seeing him finally snap and have strangers, family, and even Doc testify for him when he was caught was satisfying. His character and relationships were so important to him that he took his prison sentence with dignity and let his journey come full circle. He was a breath of fresh air from the typical crime movie stereotypes.
The soundtrack plays a heavy role in the story as an extension of Baby. Since Baby doesn’t talk much and uses music to drown out the ringing in his ear, we get to hear how he’s feeling through what music he’s listening to. Since music was so important to him, the damage done to his hearing at Buddy’s hand was heart-wrenching. It felt like part of him had died in that moment. Personally, I’m a huge fan of music heavy movies and love when the soundtrack is used for more than just theming. I think this touch makes Baby Driver so unique, fun, and sensitive.
I’m so glad I decided to see Baby Driver. It exceeded all expectations I had for it and let me walk out of the theatre feeling inspired. This old Americana themed movie was everything from intensely brutal to heart warming. While it is quirky and unique in style, Baby Driver is a movie I think most people would enjoy. Romance fans to action junkies alike will feel thoroughly satisfied seeing Baby and Debora together in the end.