Exhilarating. I’m not the first person to use this one word to describe Edgar Wright’s newest film, “Baby Driver.”
It’s the story of a young man aka Baby (“Divergent’s” Ansel Elgort) who works for a crime boss named Doc (Kevin Spacey) as his favorite getaway driver. By the time we meet Baby, he really wants out of the job. To further cement that, he meets a waitress named Debora (“Cinderella’s” Lily James) and together they have this dream to ditch their Atlanta lives, “drive west and never stop.”
Elgort is perfectly cast as kid who listens to tracks like “Bellbottoms” by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and “Neat Neat Neat” by the Damned to perfectly time and set his crew drop off, pick up get away from robberies.
While he picks up the usual heist planning coffee, he puts on different versions of “Harlem Shuffle” (sorry, the Stones version isn’t among them).
Wright has cast some amazing actors as Baby’s cohorts on the wrong side of the law—“Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm, “The Walking Dead’s” Jon Bernthal, “Dusk Til Dawn’s” new Santanico Pandemonium, Eiza Gonzalez, “The Red Hot Chili Peppers’” Flea and Jamie Foxx.
“Baby Driver” has one of the best opening sequences I’ve seen for a film recently. It also has a great gunfight scene—with the best sound design I’ve seen since “Heat” but with it’s own unique and fabulous twist. I’d rather not go further into it.
Speaking of “Heat” which I thought about during that scene, it appears at the top of Edgar Wright’s Top 10 Heist Movies, which is worth checking out online.
I also thought there was something very Han Solo about the Baby character—pirate, heart of gold underneath, with his own swagger. He also wears what almost looks like black vest over a long white-sleeved shirt. Finally, you can bet Baby can make that “Kessel Run” in “less than twelve parsecs.” Oddly enough, after watching the movie and doing a bit of research, Ansel Elgort’s DJ name is “Ansolo.”
I actually miss movies like this—small by today’s standards, but A-list cast, great script, great director, great music and great pacing. In a world of blockbusters, big franchises, big budget films and juggernaut after juggernaut, this is just so incredibly slick and refreshing.
Ansel Elgort has another upcoming project with Kevin Spacey—he has the lead role in “Billionaire Boys Club” along with “Kingsmen’s” Taron Egerton.
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Baby Driver will have sneak previews in selected cinemas nationwide on July 24 and 25. It opens on wide release here on August 2.