Baby Driver

Fast Times

         
 

28 June 2017| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Vivacious, entertaining yarn that really gets you in the mood for larceny and fast sprees. Ansel Elgort is little more than a kid as Baby Driver, who is a getaway driver for a robbery syndicate that’s operated by an expensive suit mover and shaker played by Kevin Spacey. Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal and Eiza Gonzalez are among the supporting cast of thugs that are spoiled by their own disharmony with each other. Baby, who dons a two-tone black and tan sweat shirt hoodie that gives him a young Han Solo look, is the one member of the outfit who is basically a good guy. On that merit, he is indefinitely distrusted.

Someone asks if Baby Driver is slow. He drives fast, is the answer. No, is Baby Driver slow as in retarded? He listens to his iPod constantly (with all the action scenes edited to the beat of his tunes), doesn’t speak up much, and carries himself like a Rain Man type of autistic savant (that’s just a way for him to stay down low). But Baby can size up any dangerous situation instantaneously, has quick instincts, is a stuntman driving prodigy, and so on those merits, is pretty much indispensable to his boss.

This is the kind of movie that has all the familiar old-fashioned elements, only to shuffle them around while splashing on a new coat of paint. Baby falls in love with a diner waitress (Lily James), they instantaneously have a lot of chemistry, but he of course hides his profession from her. He wants to go straight, for her sake and for the sake of his foster father, but alas, a guy like him always gets pulled in for one last job.

There are a lot of heist jobs, i.e., a lot of satisfying action sequences told with fluidity and shot on real locations with no need for artificial CGI. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen good car chases at the movies, or at least, it feels that way. There’s the “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Mission: Impossible” films that stand tall above all other comparisons, there’s James Bond of course, and beyond that, there’s a lot of trash that doesn’t know how to put on a good action sequence without resorting to post-production editing tricks. “Baby Driver” puts on some snazzy action, shamelessly.

It was a bit bothersome to me that this crime syndicate keeps setting up heists that feel like they were all filmed in the same zip code district. It’s just one of those things where you have to suspend your disbelief when you go to watch something like “Baby Driver.” But it has loads of fun with its film noir, lone hero, anti-hero love story genre pedigree. The director is Edgar Wright (a pal of Quentin Tarantino), who for me made a modern comedy classic with his last movie “The World’s End.” He’s got a lot of style when it comes to music cut to action, he knows how to write snappy and crisp dialogue, and he creates exuberant characters.

I don’t want to over-praise the movie, since it is just a genre mash-up and not a game-changer. But it is irresistibly entertaining enough to the point that I believe it’s safe to say that by the time we get to the end of the year, “Baby Driver” will likely be one of the twenty best movies I saw over the course of twelve months.

113 Minutes. Rated R.

ACTION-SUSPENSE / MINDLESS FUN / FRIDAY NIGHT THRILL RIDE

Film Cousins: “Diva” (1982, France); “True Romance” (1993); “Bottle Rocket” (1996); “Drive” (2011).

Baby_Driver_Summer - Flick

Summary
Reviewer
Sean Chavel
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Baby Driver
Author Rating
3
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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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