Edgar Wright has proven himself to be one of the most unique and creative living directors today and the man has only honed his craft to deliver a great spin on a classic crime tale about love, and redemption. “Baby Driver” is a remarkable turn for Wright who creates a pulp masterpiece. “Baby Driver” is a powerful and emotional tale about a truly engaging protagonist who is sinking in to a world of violence and murder, and has no idea how to get out. We’ve seen movies about getaway drivers before, but “Baby Driver” works to the benefit of Wright’s strengths including dynamic characters, sharp humor, and amazing editing.
The character Baby is a young man cursed with tinnitus who lives every moment of his life by his ipods, enacting and interacting with his world through his favorite music. Not content with just showing us, Wright sucks us in to Baby’s world, as he floats along his environment like a cloud using music to justify his emotions when he’s flying high and sinking in to depression. As with most Wright cinematic offerings, he tries to implement his concept as much as humanly possible, so he puts a mesmerizing soundtrack to great use, allowing every classic song to help convey a sense of Baby’s personality.
Baby uses his music to drown out not just his tinnitus, but the reality of his situation, which involves robberies and a trail of innocent people being mortally wounded. In debt to a businessman named Doc, Baby is an amazing getaway driver who keeps calm under immense pressure and can out maneuver even the most skilled police officers. With the only family a deaf and mute elderly man, Baby fatefully meets a pretty young waitress named Debora. Sharing a love for music like Baby, he falls under her spell and soon begins to question his life. Things begin to spiral out of control when Doc refuses to let Baby out of his debt, and insists on integrating him in to his new team which includes psychotic “Bats.”
Edgar Wright’s crime thriller is just a rollicking and raucous experience that takes great pains in using the importance of music as a means of conveying Baby’s more unusual, and more tragic dimensions. Wright directs a wonderful crime thriller, as well as a fascinating character thriller where getting mixed up with the wrong kind of criminal is all too easy, and things can go wrong very quickly. Every single cast member seems aware of the kind of pop pulpy crime film they’re starring in, thus every single cast member seems to have a blast, as well as helping to build slick and interesting villains and thugs. Everyone from Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, and Eliza Gonzalez, and Lily James are just excellent, as well as Jamie Foxx, who is just menacing as paranoid bank robber Bats.
Ansel Elgort is the stand out, though, as another banner Edgar Wright hero, who is drenched in pop culture but presents the every man charm. From his subtle scars, vulnerability toward his only friend in the world, and inability to say no to his inadvertent father figure, Baby is a compelling anti-hero. Elgort’s role as the slick rogue is dazzling, as he presents interesting nuances of his character right down to his obsession with music, such a key element of his life to where he’s almost incapable of operating without it. Director Edgar Wright doesn’t just embrace the crime genre, but bends it to his will with great characters, and an engaging, down to Earth romance.