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Film review: Baby Driver


It may look like just another action-driven heist film, but Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright’s new movie is more than that – and it all comes down to the music, writers Heather Taylor Johnson.

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Baby’s got a gift and it’s driving getaway cars. Like his name, it’s not what he would’ve asked for in life, but it’s what a crime boss saw fit to give him.

As with many anti-heroes in overused plot-lines such as this, Baby has a good heart and wants out, wants to get in the driver’s seat of his car and go far, far away with the girl at the diner he’s only just met but knows is the one for him.

It’s going to be hard; there’s going to be blood. And a whole lot of car crashes.

If you watch the trailer for Baby Driver, the new movie by writer/director Edgar Wright, it comes off as a Fast and Furious-type flick, with hot cast members who look cool shooting guns and speeding in cars and shooting guns while speeding in cars, but this is the same Wright who wrote and directed the modern cult-classic Shaun of the Dead, so there’s reason to expect more than just another action-driven heist film.

It all comes down to the music, and I don’t mean the killer soundtrack.

Baby (played by Ansel Elgort from The Fault in our Stars) has a hearing problem – tinnitus – and listens to music constantly to drown it out. He’s always wearing headphones and what he’s listening to becomes a soundtrack to his world, especially when he’s driving.

Kevin Spacey as Doc in Baby Driver. Photo: TriStar Pictures

Nearly every scene uses music, and I mean uses it. The characters’ steps are in tune with it, graffiti mirrors the lyrics, gunshots fall into rhythm and cars crash to the beat. There’s even musicality to what crime boss Doc (played by Kevin Spacy) says.

This is one of the most musically creative films out there and for that reason alone Baby Driver’s worth seeing. Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm as convincing mean-dudes might be another reason, and if I’m going to get real, Lily James’s smile might be, too.

But let’s not forget that this is an action-driven heist film and this is a director who loves zombies, so it’s not a surprise that there’s the baddie-who-won’t-die scenario paired with seemingly never-ending car violence. But what needs to be said is that the movie is fun, and despite its leaning toward formulaic narrative clichés, it’s highly original.

Not one to normally see this genre of film (and I would’ve said the same for Shaun of the Dead), I’d go see Baby Driver again, and the anticipation would be sweet.

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