This quality crime film is already a modern day classic. Directed and written by Edgar Wright, Ansel Elgort stars as Miles (a.k.a. Baby), an expert driver who’s trying to do right in his fast moving life where the music is always playing.
Set in Atlanta, Georgia, Wright and his crew create action, humor and amazing stuntwork (without any CGI) in several sequences though stereotypes still limit the 112-minute screenplay a bit. The fast cars include a Subaru Impreza WRX and over 150 others.
Baby is not brooding just very capable even when dealing with his tinnitus. Filmmakers uses a slight ringing sound throughout this exciting music fest that includes song like “Bellbottoms” by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and “Easy” by The Commodores. Filmmakers often use songs in 4/4 rhythm with editors cutting the visuals right on the beat. Some song lyrics even repeat in character dialogue later.
Steven Price provides the musical score while Bill Pope is the cinematographer and Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss are the film editors. Wright’s crew impresses with his crew who perform very well. Wright actually got inspiration from this film from Walter Hill’s 1978 film The Driver.
The endless crime characters include Jamie Foxx as “Bats”, Jon Hamm as “Buddy” and Eiza González as “Darling” who are all brought into various heist plans led by a mastermind named Doc, played by Kevin Spacey. Other crime characters are portrayed by Flea, Lanny Joon and Jon Bernthal. Musicians Big Boi (also from Outkast) and Killer Mike (Run the Jewels) also cameo while also providing music.
CJ Jones brings powerful heart as Baby’s deaf foster father and is actually deaf. His genuine emotion comes through every time he’s on screen. The cast easily exudes powerful feelings amid some tough circumstances.
Lily James impresses as a local waitress named Debora who is also Baby’s love interest…british actors do the best Southern accents. Her introduction into Baby’s world adds even more challenges, but their potential future gives him even more inspiration to change his current life situation for the better.
Highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars) and rated R for violence and language throughout. Would love to see a prequel (maybe the ending credit sequence foreshadows this possibility…we shall see). Baby Driver is Oscar™ nominated for sound editing, sound mixing and editing.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler