Baby Driver (2017) Movie Review


Originally published on on July 3rd, 2017 as “4 Reasons Why ‘Baby Driver’ Is a Must See”

Nearly every day as I check movie news on the internet I see comments chastising the slew of “endless” sequels, remakes and reboots in Hollywood. However, it feels like whenever an original movie comes out, it doesn’t get the support it needs. Last year it was The Nice Guys — a fun, well-rounded, sharp, original movie — did poorly at the box office. Well, if you missed your opportunity to support movies like The Nice Guys, here is your next chance. Baby Driver is an incredible, tense, fun and stylish original action-heist movie that is a blast to watch from beginning to end.

What Is It About?

Baby Driver is about a young getaway driver named Baby (that’s B-A-B-Y). In debt to a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), Baby works to get out of the business with every job he takes. After a childhood car accident, Baby suffers from permanent tinnitus. To drown out the constant ringing in his ears, Baby listens to music, which he uses as a soundtrack to his heists. He falls in love with a local waitress and plans to run away with her if he can pull off one more heist.

The movie stars a slew of acting talent: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jon Bernthal, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez and Lily James. The real star of this movie, however, is writer/director Edgar Wright, director of critically acclaim comedies Shaun of the DeadHot FuzzThe Worlds End, and the modern cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Wright is an accomplished but often overlooked director. Baby Driver could be the movie that really cements his place in the film world.

Here, Wright artfully balances moments of well-placed comedy with fun and tense action. His stylistic flourishes are ever present here, with a vibrant, colorful look to the film, a daring sense of fun, and a wide array of colorful characters. From the opening frames, Wright infuses the energy of the movie with a moving steady camera and fast-paced edits. He fills the frame with beautiful shots that tell the story of the character. It is clear Wright opted to film a lot of the stunts and car chases in camera. If there were any CGI enhancements or shots, they are well hidden.
'Baby Driver' [Credit: TriStar Pictures]
‘Baby Driver’ [Credit: TriStar Pictures]

Wright also incorporates a killer musical soundtrack, featuring everything from Queen to Simon and Garfunkel. Music plays a big role in the movie, not only because of how it relates to Baby, but also because it is a part of film’s style. A shootout could be edited to the tune of a song. The car chases are timed to the music Baby is listening to. The songs feel as carefully chosen as the cast. This is an example where a stylistic choice and thematic elements really work hand in hand.

'Baby Driver' [Credit: TriStar Pictures]
‘Baby Driver’ [Credit: TriStar Pictures]

The action works so well because of Wright pens characters and a narrative with ease. The movie is properly character driven, so when the action is happening, you care about the characters involved. Having characters invested in makes the action much more intense. Additionally, Baby is a flawed but extremely likable hero. The relationships he has with other criminals and the young waitress named Debra are well defined and intensify with every confrontation and situation.

'Baby Driver' [Credit: TriStar Pictures]
‘Baby Driver’ [Credit: TriStar Pictures]

Ansel Elgort truly breaks out in this movie; he really shows his diversity and range as an actor. He plays quiet really well and is still able to endow his character with heaps of personality despite not being given a whole lot of dialogue. Alongside Elgort is Lily James, who has also been a rising talent for a few years now. She really came onto my radar with the Cinderella remake. Not only does she have incredible chemistry with Elgort, but she really holds her own against the rest of the acting heavyweights in this movie.

The rest of the cast is filled to the brim with a wide range of talent. The standouts, however, are Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm. Spacey features heavily in the film, and it’s a nice departure from the Frank Underwood role that we’re used to seeing. Foxx plays a hard-edged robber and he relishes every bit of it.

'Baby Driver' [Credit: TriStar Pictures]
‘Baby Driver’ [Credit: TriStar Pictures]

There really isn’t much I can say on a negative front. When an action flick is this well done (story, character, and action wise), I can’t really nitpick all that much. Baby Driver delivers a unique experience that isn’t like any other movie this year (or even the past few years for that matter). Baby Driver is the best movie of the summer thus far, I can’t wait to see it again, and I really hope audiences check this movie out.

What did you love most about Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver?

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