‘Baby Driver’ is one rad ride

Ansel Elgort in ‘Baby Driver’

Our Score:

If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough – Mario Andretti

Fast cars are my only vice – Michael Bay

In the era of unleaded gas, writer/director Edgar Wright has unleashed a high-octane leaded gasoline fueled heist film.  Baby Driver is the story of “Baby” (Ansel Elgort – Allegiant) who stole the wrong man’s car at the wrong moment.  That man, “Doc” (Kevin Spacey – Elvis & Nixon) made a deal with Baby that has Baby working as a getaway driver/car thief for Doc until his “debt” is paid in full.  Doc organizes bank heists.  The robbers are never the same exact group but Baby is always the driver.

Music is incredibly important to Baby because he was involved in an accident as a child and has a permanent case of tinnitus.  The ear buds on his iPod are always in his ears to drown out that incessant ringing.

Thing is, Baby really is the Mozart in a go-kart that Doc describes him as in the film’s trailer and no matter what the situation, he can and will drive his way out of it.  That makes him indispensable as the driver for the crews that Doc brings together.  Baby does it for two reasons.  One is that debt to Doc and the other is to enable him to care for his deaf foster father, “Joseph” (CJ Jones, a deaf actor making his debut in fictional feature films).

Baby’s life is irrevocably altered when he meets “Debora” (Lily James – Cinderella).  She is a waitress in a diner that Baby has a strong connection to.  She is pure and innocent, the antithesis of the robbery crews that Baby drives with.  Her dream is to get in the car, drive west on Interstate 20 with no plan, just music.

After Baby discovers that paying off his obligation to Doc doesn’t mean he’s done driving for the dude, he agrees to be behind the wheel for a really big job.  This one is a post office where there are boxes filled with money orders.  For this job Doc gets three robbers together that Baby has driven for at different times.  “Bats” (Jamie Foxx – White House Down) is a stone killer who takes lives as easily an ordinary person takes breaths.  “Buddy” (Jon Hamm – Friends With Kids) and his wife “Darling” (Eiza González – Jem and the Holograms) round out the crew.

Things go awry when Bats starts shooting at the cops who are supplying the weapons to be used in the next day’s robbery.  He recognized one who he had dealt with before.  But when the crew returns to Doc’s warehouse, they learn that those cops were working with Doc.  Baby gets caught trying to sneak out of the warehouse to disappear with Debora, and is forced to take part in the robbery.

Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx in ‘Baby Driver’

Baby Driver mixes music, images and action in a way that is so amazing, it is difficult to find sufficient superlatives to communicate its awesomeness.  The timing of the action to the beat is done as well or better than ever done before on the big screen.  The acting is solid, the chases exhilarating and it all works like an incredibly expensive wristwatch.

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Brian Milinsky

Brian Milinsky has served in the military, been an FM D.J. and an award-winning radio news reporter/anchor/writer/editor. He is presently a screenwriter and currently lives in Los Angeles.

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