“Baby Driver”: Smart, Adrenaline-Filled Fun

Baby Driver

“Baby Driver” is written and directed by Edgar Wright and stars Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx.  The film is about a young getaway driver named Baby who is forced into a life of crime and is working his way out so he can be with the girl he loves.

Edgar Wright is a master of mixing comedy and action as his Cornetto trilogy (“Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz”, “The World’s End”) are three of the funniest action films of the century, and this movie looked to be right in his area of expertise.  The cast also is very strong, and the fact that a movie is confident enough to show a screening nearly two months early (I saw this in early May) gave me very high expectations coming in.

The Good

The performances are excellent all around, with the best coming from Ansel Elgort in the lead role.  Elgort has a breakout performance here, as he moves from a good actor to a great one with his tremendous turn as Baby.  Elgort nails the dramatic moments, the heart, and the comedic elements of the character, and even with few words, it was always clear what Baby was feeling, and all the credit in the world goes to Elgort for his great performance in this film.

The supporting cast was no slouch, though, as Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, and Jon Hamm all shined in their own right.  Spacey was my personal favorite, as he is excellent as the one running the show, doing what Spacey does best.  Foxx was also great as the absolute wild card, and Hamm impressed in his role, with everyone in this group showing great chemistry with the banter that proceeds.

Edgar Wright does a tremendous job with the direction and screenplay of this movie, as Wright brings his usual unique flare to an already creative premise, and it makes for one of the most original movies I have seen this year.  The writing is so fresh and fast that there isn’t a dull moment from start to finish, and it is helped with phenomenal action to back it up.

The action sequences are better than anything you will see in a “Fast and Furious” movie, as these scenes are much more intense, better filmed, and more realistic, and it makes for thrilling, adrenaline-filled moments every time.  This is also helped by Elgort, who is entirely believable as the getaway driver with a hearing issue, and when combining his performance, beautifully choreographed action, a kickass soundtrack, and witty dialogue going on throughout it, these car chases are some of the highlight moments of the entire year thus far.

The Bad

While I thought Lily James was great in her role, I did not fully get on board with the romance that is shared between her character and Elgort.  Sure, I can definitely believe that the two like each other and have a realistic connection, but the things that Baby asks from this girl he’s met only a few times would make any normal girl go running, so I just could not buy that James would be so accepting of everything that her character is being asked to do.

The final sequence is fun and fast-paced, but I also think it is the most far-fetched moment of the movie, and also drags on a bit too long.  The car chases that proceeded this were unbelievably great, so, while still really good, the concluding moments felt a bit lackluster when comparing.

Conclusion

“Baby Driver” is Edgar Wright doing what he does best: making fantastic characters that work well with terrific action and excellent dialogue, and it makes for one of the most entertaining movies you will find in 2017.  Ansel Elgort is outstanding in the lead, and his supporting cast is just as great, and, with a killer soundtrack to boot and only a few issues in the plot, “Baby Driver” is everything I could have wanted, and is a must see in the theaters.

Badge-8.5

Get tickets and showtimes for “Baby Driver” here (in theaters 6/28)

Are you excited for “Baby Driver”?  Comment below with your thoughts.


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