Starring: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey
Director: Edgar Wright
Baby is a young man roped into working as a getaway driver for a local crime kingpin. Suffering from chronic tinnitus that is only drowned out by music, since the car accident that killed his mother, Baby lives with his deaf foster parent, and has dreams of getting away and starting over with the local diner waitress Debbie. But it’s not so easy to walk away when the boss isn’t willing to let you go. Can Baby survive one last bank job? Or will all his plans go awry?
Baby Driver is an odd film. It functions a bit like a musical, with visual rhythms that match the excellent score. It’s a highly stylish and stylised film. But for a film about a kid who has some really great driving skills, there’s not enough time in the car. His driving skills are such a great focus, and yet we spend a lot of time listening to people spout cliches at each other. And while the amount of musicality in the opening sequence gets a little annoying, it then almost disappears enitrely from the film, kind of undermining it’s own promise.
The set up for this film is quite strong, with supporting cast like Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey, as well as Jon Hamm, and Lily James as Debbie. The script doesn’t give them a lot to do really, other than be fairly obvious and one dimensional characters, but they are all giving it their best, and are quite likeable. It’s just that the film feels a little confused. It wants to be a car chase film with music, which would be awesome, but there’s too much time spent elsewhere, and the characters all change their motivations at the end of the film, which if done well could have been revealing, but just feels flat and odd. Honestly, I found myself quite bored during this film, because I wanted more sound and fury and got a lot of cliché and talking.
But there is something about this film that’s very charming. It’s colourful and bright. It has good actors. The soundtrack is good. Baby is an interesting character. The chase scenes are good. There’s just not quite enough of these things as there should be. But I think a lot of you will get a kick out of this film, all the same.
See It If: you like colourful films with music that are not actually musicals. This film is confused, but has it’s delights.