A scene from the movie Baby Driver which is screening at the Empire Cinema. 17071408
There are few pleasures in the world that match seeing the words, “A film by Edgar Wright”, appear on the title screen.
Though his name may not hold as much mainstream sway as Tarantino, Spielberg or Nolan, he is undoubtedly in the same class; Baby Driver is just further confirmation of this.
No, the film is not about an actual baby that drives, but rather a young chap named Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, whose unique feature is that he spends the entire movie listening to music through his various iPods.
While this could come across as gimmicky, it does have a self-awareness quality in that characters talk about how this could be a problem during heists.
It also sets the mood for the scenes through the music played, as Baby plays certain songs to reflect certain moods.
The plot itself is fairly conventional on the face of it.
Baby is the getaway driver for different teams of robbers, each set up by what is assumed to be a mob boss named Doc, played by Kevin Spacey.
He drives for Doc because of a debt that was accrued many years ago, so by the time the film starts the debt is almost paid.
He agrees to “one last job”, and only after that is completed does Doc tell him that he was never truly going to be free; Baby has proven himself too good, too invaluable as a heist has never failed with him at the wheel.
Seeing Baby in action in the opening scene is absolutely breathtaking.
Buddy (Jon Hamm), Darling (Eliza Gonzalez) and Griff (Jon Bernthal) pile into the car after a robbery and become the avatar for the audience, as their emotions range from fear to disbelief from witnessing the skill of their driver.
While the film is unable to reach those heights again with its set-pieces, it maintains the high quality by introducing two new characters, Debora and Bats.
Debora, played by Lily James, appears to be a clique archetype that is played to near perfection.
While her goal sounds like it’s straight out of a Chainsmokers song (“I want to drive somewhere I don’t know in a car I can’t afford”), James has a natural charisma that is electric whenever she shared a scene with Elgort.
While their relationship does progress at possibly too rapid a rate, you can completely understand, as it seems like anyone would fall in love with her if they were in Baby’s situation.
Bats, played by Jamie Foxx, is the standout in the film.
He is absolutely bloody terrifying, though not right from the jump.
He doesn’t trust Baby, believing that his seeming lack of concentration could be an issue if the bullets start flying.
As the film progresses, you realise Bats probably isn’t doing these jobs for the money; he just likes committing crimes.
The best thing about this film is how unusual, how fresh it is; no cities are in endangered, no robots are fighting and there’s no-one dressed in a cape in sight.
It’s a heist movie where you don’t see any of the robberies (similar to Tarantino’s first feature film, Reservoir Dogs), it’s a love story with no sex, it’s a comedy with no jokes and it’s a car chase movie where the driver is called Baby.
To top it all off, the most thrilling, tense scene in the movie might be the one where four people are sitting around a table drinking Coke, with no guns shot or punches thrown, and that’s a rare thing to see these days.
So, Run Baby Run to the theatre and see the film because Baby It’s Cold Outside, and make it your Baby Tonight.