Baby Driver (15)

Edgar Wright strikes gold once more with his new movie, Baby Driver. This time we follow the exploits of Baby (Ansel Elgort), a talented getaway driver who relies on his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game.

Forced to work behind the wheel to pay off his debt to crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey), Baby is a man of few words, but what he lacks in dialogue he makes up for in skill.

The mobster never uses the same team for a bank job, with one exception, Baby. With him around what can go wrong? After all he’s Doc’s lucky charm.

Everything changes when Baby meets a girl named Debra (Lily James). She’s the girl of his dreams. Baby plans to take his chance to ditch his shady lifestyle and make a clean break with his new-found love but first he just needs to do one final job for Doc.

After being coerced into working for the crime boss for far too long he can’t wait to take part in his final heist. But the job is doomed from the start, forcing Baby to fight for his freedom and true love.

The soundtrack isn’t a nice add on for Baby Driver, but the foundation on which the movie is built on. Edgar Wright’s new action-comedy movie has been built with the music first and then the scenes constructed around it with dialogue, tempo and timings all complementing the score. The result is a pulse-racing movie you can’t get enough of. It’s the equivalent of a book you can’t put down, or a guy you just can’t quit.

One of the early scenes where Baby goes out to get his customary coffee for the team sees him dancing in the streets to Harlem Shuffle by Bob & Earl. It has an almost La La Land feel to it. Elgort’s moves, mixed with the music and the supporting sequence creates an infectious energy. As Shakespeare said “If music be the food of love, play on.”

Baby Driver is a fresh spin on the usual heist tale. It boasts Wright’s usual directorial stylings and uses heavy weights Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm to their full potential. But in a twist to his other successes Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs The World and The World’s End, this is a movie that isn’t an all-out comedy. It’s a homage to Reservoir Dogs with a gorgeous sprinkling of love for good measure. Think Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers, add sounds of the 60s and 70s and then take it up a notch. But don’t worry Baby Driver still includes Wright’s standard gruesome fight scenes. He hasn’t gone soft.

You could be forgiven for underestimating the movie’s star Ansel Elgort, after all up until now he’s mainly starred in teen blockbusters. But he draws on his musical theatre background to produce some of the movies most memorable scenes.

Edgar Wright deserves a victory lap for his new heart-racing action-comedy movie.

Baby Driver will be released in UK cinemas on 28th June 2017.

By Ruth Walker

★★★★★

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