If you long for a crime movie that will make you move in your seat, Baby Driver is the summer film for you. Granted, the title conjures images of an animated, talking infant behind a wheel, but Edgar Wright‘s summer offering steers far from that type of fare.
The marriage of music, action, and story delivers a high-octane experience as we follow the young and somewhat naïve driver, Baby (Ansel Elgort). Skillful behind the wheel, he speeds along the fringes of a criminal enterprise, headed by Doc (Kevin Spacey). As he falls deeper into this world, Baby begins to dream of a different life, but can he get out?
The film embraces music, which is so integral that one could almost consider this a type of musical. The stunts, passersby, and cast are all choreographed to hit beats in the songs. This adds a level of musicality to all onscreen movement and makes the movie that much more fun and dynamic. The idea for the film first came to Edgar Wright over twenty years ago while he was listening to the song “Bellbottoms” by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. He revisited the idea periodically over the years, contemplating more elements, and fleshing ou† the story. Twenty years later, Baby Driver is born.
This film will have you moving to the music and white-knuckling your armrest as some of the car stunts are incredibly exciting. They even shot an extremely difficult car maneuver called a 180 in and 180 out down an alleyway between two buildings. Most filmmakers would likely opt for shooting a stunt like this in a large, vacant parking lot, then building CG buildings into the scene. The decision to shoot this via practical means gives audiences a real pay-off. I love a filmmaker who opts to do the harder thing to make a better end product!
Baby Driver is not just about the action. Edgar Wright amasses an impressive ensemble cast to handle the variety of roles. When writing the screenplay, he wrote Buddy with one actor in mind, Emmy winner Jon Hamm (Mad Men). Joining him are Jon Bernthal (Walking Dead), Eiza Gonzalez, Lily James, and Academy Award winners Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx. In addition, music fans will spot numerous cameos from a variety of musicians. This film is made for people who love music.
Not only is the music and casting spot on, but Edgar Wright went to great lengths to get some authenticity to the heists. He even acquired a convicted bank robber turned writer, Joe Loya as a technical consultant. The former criminal, who served many years for his crimes, provided valuable insight and guidance to keep the heists more believable. He was also rewarded with a cameo as a security guard. Edgar explained, “I thought I’d put him on the receiving end of a bank robbery.”
If you want a high-energy film, but are tired of superheroes, check out Baby Driver. It’s a lot of fun!