Baby Driver “Excel”erates From Start to Glorious Finish (Movie Review)

Okay so I’m very much late to this Baby Driver party.  Sue me.  I rectified that problem today once and for all.  When our staff’s Top 5 of the year thus far in 2017 posted here yesterday I realized something.  Pretty much everyone had Baby Driver on their lists (two even had it as their top selection), but it was nowhere to be found on mine.  Why was that?  Well it’s quite simple.  Despite having three opportunities to see it via usual press channels down here in Austin, TX I somehow managed to avoid each and every one.  That’s my bad.  Now there’s also another strike against it for me too.  I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Edgar Wright’s previous work.  I know I am in the minority and it takes a big man to admit it, but I find his Cornetto Trilogy of films to be boring.  That’s just me though.  They’re not my proverbial cup of tea.  Again, if you don’t like what I have to say, sue me.  However, I don’t want to sound like a complete jackass either as I have the utmost of respect for Wright as a filmmaker and as a person in general.  When we got the chance to interview him years ago over here he was kind as can be to us.  I was even very excited to see his take on Marvel’s Ant-Man too, but we all know the history there.  Everything happens for a reason and I believe Baby Driver is just that.  Read on…

Baby Driver

The weird thing about the July Fourth holiday in 2017 is this.  It’s on a Tuesday and for the first time in a long time that I can remember there’s really no big films opening for the holiday itself.  The stool sample (both the box office and critic have spoken) Transformers: The Last Knight opened a week ago and Sony’s other gem, Spider-Man: Homecoming, doesn’t officially open until July 7th.  So what does that leave potential Fourth of July moviegoers to see?  I can’t remember who, but someone told me Baby Driver.  I laughed and said nah.  It’s not a big enough release to command the attention of summer blockbuster moviegoers who would ordinarily flock to a July 4th screening.  I just assumed Wonder Woman would get some extra bank, which it totally deserves.  However, today I saw Baby Driver and I want to retract my statement.  Yes, because of the language it’s definitely not for kids, but I can tell you this.  It should definitely be on your MUST-SEE list this holiday week.  Not since last year’s Nocturnal Animals have I walked out of the theater so smitten with a smile on my face from ear-to-ear.  So let’s talk some Baby Driver.

If someone asked me to describe the genre of Baby Driver I guess I would call it an action-caper musical.  I know that’s not a real thing, but hopefully by the end of my review here you’ll understand why I say that.  It’s both brilliantly written and directed by Edgar Wright.  It stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González (a Mexican version of Ruby Rose meets Megan Fox), Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.  Elgort portrays Baby (yes that’s his name), a young getaway driver who is forced into working for a crime kingpin (Spacey).  To the uninitiated here I know what you’re already thinking.  That sounds like pretty much any other action-caper you’ve seen before.  From a certain point of view I can agree with you, but didn’t your parents ever tell you not to judge a book by it’s cover?  When you pull back the layers of Baby Driver and take it all in you’ll quickly realize it’s anything but ordinary.  It’s now my mission to tell you why.

Baby Driver

Now for any of you that know me well then you’ll understand how good Baby Driver must be if I say I liked it more than my beloved DCEU Wonder Woman feature.  It’s that good.  From the action that grips you right from the start to the emotional storyline and arc it’s like being in a heart pounding car chase in itself.  The only thing about it is unless you’re an adrenaline junkie whenever you’re in a real life, dangerous life or death car chase you just want the ride to be over favorably.  With Baby Driver I never wanted to step outside of the moving vehicle.  I didn’t even mention the ingenious cinematography, the acting, the dialogue, the characters or even the music video nature of it all that rivals a Guardians of the Galaxy-like soundtrack.  As a cohesive whole, Baby Driver is a PERFECT 5 out of 5.  It’s a perfect exercise in filmmaking and storytelling and it just doesn’t get any better than this.  I’m sorry Gal Gadot.  You may be easy on the eyes and I’ll never forget that No Man’s Land sequence you led, but you’re just not in the same league as Baby Driver.  I know I can never explain it perfectly, but from the moment the opening Tri-Star logo disappears you better have buckled up because Baby Driver takes its proverbial foot off the brake and hits the gas raging hard.  You’re instantly in its world and for the next almost two hours if you’re like me, you never want the ride to end.

Let’s talk briefly about what Baby Driver is all about.  Like the simplest of good screenplays it’s a love story really at its core.  Here you have a flawed protagonist, Baby (yes that’s his name), who’s practically irresistible not to like.  He looks like a young Han Solo from his rugged looks to the jacket he is given to wear here, but I digress.  Then there’s this girl.  Her name is Debra (James).  However, before we even go there we have this crime kingpin (Spacey).  He basically owns Baby and forces him to be his high speed getaway driver for the many illegal jobs his always changing crew of thugs does throughout the city of Atlanta (hence the action-caper part of the story).  Baby is a force to be reckoned with behind the wheel, but what’s even more intriguing of him is why he’s such a man of few words and what’s up with those Apple EarPods constantly in his ears.  As a side note I can’t help but to think about how much more freer he would be utilizing Apple’s superior AirPods with no wires, but I digress.  He’s forced to wear these old school EarPods throughout because he’s using equally old school iPods for playback.  However, I’m not going to ruin the fun and backstory as to why he’s always listening to music.  That’s part of the adventure I want you to experience firsthand.  So the point I’m trying to make here though is despite Baby always trying to do what’s right on the surface I guess you can call him a bad guy.  And if you’re trying to make a successful life I crime for yourself, what’s the number one rule?  Give up?  It’s never to fall in love.  You see the conundrum here now?

Baby Driver

Love story aside, Baby Driver is very much a gospel of love and testament to old school car chases.  It’s obviously told and played out in modern times, but you can see the many influences Wright brings with him here.  I won’t bore you with history, but the car chases were just the icing on the cake. The film’s trailers may not look like much, but it’s the story that grips me equally as hard as I would the wheel should I have been driving in this white-knuckled adrenaline adventure.  The characters are rich/likable and the ultimate story arc of things is both plausible and pleasing.  However, what really makes this one shine like a perfect diamond ring in the sun are the musical selections and brilliant in the moment, on the second, crafty editing style.  Yes it has a very kicking and infectious soundtrack, again much like the Guardians series, but it’s the intricate editing selections, cues and cuts that sync perfectly (I apologize for overusing this word here) with the soundtrack itself making it play out almost like a music video at times.  However, Baby Driver is so much more than just a mere music video.  You just have to grab those keys, get behind the wheel and put the car in drive to quickly realize this is Edgar Wright’s modern day masterpiece.  Remember I said everything happens for a reason?  Well this is the bookend to this review here as Ant-Man may not have worked out well for Wright, but Baby Driver is his John Wick and now the only question I have is…Baby Driver 2?  What?   Furthermore, this is going to make one hell of a glorious 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release this year.  #justsayin




Baby Driver Movie Poster


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

2 Responses to “Baby Driver “Excel”erates From Start to Glorious Finish (Movie Review)”

  1. Gregg

    This wasn’t my cup of tea. Jamie Foxx brought the most to the table here and there is plenty of action. For me, it was a two-hour music video though. I was waiting for the MTV logo to pop up. Still, as far as editing and horsepower go, this movie let it all hang out. Oh, and then there’s Eiza Gonzalez. Wow. I don’t know what else to say but…wow…

    Anyway, you hit the nail on the head when you said it was a testament to old school car crashes. If that was the director’s intent when he stepped to the plate, he hit a home run.

  2. putlockers

    Movies with forty or more critic reviews vie for his or her place in history at Rotten Tomatoes.