After being coerced into working for crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey), a young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
Review by Louise Keller:
Everything has rhythm in Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, starting with its original premise, fresh execution and a soundtrack guaranteed to get pulses racing and feet tapping. Shaun of the Dead director Wright has concocted an inventive film that relies on the action working with the music, rather than the other way around, pushing the concept to its limits with everyday events relying on the beat. In particular, it's about the importance that music plays in the life of the film's baby-faced getaway driver protagonist, who lives his life to the rhythm of his own playlist.
Ansel Elgort is perfectly cast as Baby, whose ear buds drown out the tinnitus he acquired from a car accident as a child. He creates his own tapes and records them on his iPod - from snippets of incidents in his own life. The tape with pride of place is the one simply called Mom, featuring his singer mother, who died when he was young. He can drive, too and the spectacular opening sequence shows us Baby in full flight, creating a ballet on wheels with his nifty driving after a daring heist. He dreams about heading west - with a car he can't afford - and without a plan. Oh, as there's also a girl...
While there's plenty of action and the driving sequences thrill, the film is propelled by its disparate characters who take us along on a heady carpet ride fuelled by an outboard motor of music. It's a unique film that works on its own terms, retaining its sweet heart amid violence, quirky humour and a love story that makes you believe in love again.
Best to know as little as possible about the plot - suffice to say that Kevin Spacey (always terrific) plays Doc, the crime boss who never uses the same heist team more than once, except for Baby as his driver. There is one more job... I love the scene when Baby meets Debora (Lily James). She is singing in the diner where she works. It is the music that glues them together. She bemoans there are few songs with her name in them, whereas every song is about Baby. Their first 'date' is at a Laundromat - the clothes spin around in time to the music.... James is lovely and there's tangible chemistry between them.
Wright has some great ideas and he has gathered a superb cast for the heist teams: Jon Bernthal (Griff), Eiza Gonzalez (Darling), Jon Hamm (Buddy) and Jamie Foxx (Bats). Don't you love their pseudonyms? Each brings something different and valuable to the mix. As for the film, it zips along stylishly with great energy. The final reel may be a tad overdone but Baby Driver is the most fun you'll have at the movies for quite a while. Don't miss the ride.
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BABY DRIVER (MA15+)
CAST: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Eliza Gonzalez, Micah Howard, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Brown
PRODUCER: Tim Bevan, Nira Park
DIRECTOR: Edgar Wright
SCRIPT: Edgar Wright
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bill Pope
EDITOR: Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
MUSIC: Steven Price
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Marcus Rowland
RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 13, 2017