I have a confession to make. I did not watch The Fault in Our Stars. I did not read the book, too. So when my husband and I walked inside Centrio Cinema 3 last Sunday, I didn’t know what to expect from Ansel Elgort. While his character in The Fault in Our Stars dealt with a lot of romance and drama, his Baby in Baby Driver is quiet but deep, emotionally cold at times, unpredictable, and a bit mysterious. He also likes music and drives cars really fast. So how did Elgort do? He was splendid!
Baby Driver is a fast-paced movie that tells the story of Baby (B-a-b-y), a young man with a tragic past who works for a crime boss (Doc, brilliantly played by Kevin Spacey) as a getaway driver for various bank robbery jobs. He also creates music (mix tapes) out of conversations (by the robbers, mostly). This music is what fuels him when he drives. Music is also Baby’s way of coping with tinnitus, which is a result of a tragic accident he got involved in when he was younger. So every time he drives, he uses a personal soundtrack to help him speed up.
After successfully completing his last job, Baby meets Deborah, who gives him a reason to completely turn his life around. But he is forced to do one more job, so his plans for freedom and love had to take the back seat again.
The story is actually quite simple. But how the story is told, the style that Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Hot Fuzz) chooses to use, is what blew me away.
Baby Driver is, in my opinion, an action and romance film set to music. Rather, it is a musical disguised as an action film. Not the kind of musical that La La Land was. This movie used music to tell its story. I can’t describe it in detail as it will spoil the fun, but I can share with you five things I love about Baby Driver.
Five Things That Made Me Love Baby Driver
Baby Driver is my kind of baby because:
1.It features really good music. And as previously stated, it uses music to tell the story.
Baby makes mix tapes of conversations he hears, those that he finds interesting. At first, you’ll find this amusing and probably even weird or creepy; but the mix tapes serve their purpose in the latter part of the movie. Wright was able to seamlessly inject music into practically every scene. And not just any music, but Baby’s music.
The opening scene is the perfect example of how the music and speed are perfectly matched in this movie. It is also the best visual description of Baby’s character.
2.Baby’s tragic past is something we can all relate with.
When he is not driving for criminals, Baby spends his time taking care of Pops, his foster father who is deaf. He also has a spot in their house where he mixes the tapes and where he keeps his collection. In one scene, you’ll see a tape labeled “Mom”. This tape will tell you what happened to his mom and why he hates his dad.
Wright tells the story in subtle flashbacks, often appearing as painful memories that keep hounding Baby, especially when he hears or plays her music. Yes, even flashbacks are set in music. In my opinion, the music heightens the emotions in these scenes. It makes audiences understand how Baby feels. It makes the scenes more genuine.
3.The actors are their characters. They talk, walk, and move naturally. It’s like seeing a totally different Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx (Bats), Jon Hamm (Buddy), John Bernthal (Griff), and Ansel Elgort. Eiza Gonzales, who plays Buddy’s Darling, is also quite a revelation. And Lily James (Deborah) is adorable, too. But Spacey, Foxx, and Hamm are the ones to watch (aside from Elgort, of course!).
These three characters figure prominently in the most exciting (and physically exhausting – for them!) parts of the movie. And you’ll love every second of every scene!
Watch out for their character development, too, as it is an integral part in the turn of events in the movie.
4.I haven’t seen a movie with car chase scenes that will not only take your breath away but also have you stomping your feet to the beat of awesome music! The opening scene, the bank robbery car chases, the down-to-the-last-breath car chase towards the end of the movie…every one of them is adrenaline pumping!
5.Baby. Baby is one of the reasons I love the movie. He’s different from all the characters I’ve encountered in movies this year. He’s the kind of character I find appealing because his simplicity and mysteriousness can be deceiving.
He’s full of surprises – the music he listens to, his love and concern for his foster father, and his love for his mom. Baby does not only drive fast and listen to music, he also lip reads and has a good memory. Case in point: every time Doc discusses their plan of action for a robbery, he has his earphones on and his iPod in full blast. He seems to be not listening, but when you ask him if he understood or heard anything, he can repeat practically every word that Doc said!
Baby is absolutely lovable.
There are many other things that make Baby Driver a standout for me, but these are the ones that matter the most. I love the way the story moves to the climax and the ending. Nothing out-of-this-world. Nothing unbelievable. I like the overall feeling I got while and after watching the movie. I felt good. Satisfied. I think Baby Driver is basically a feel-good action movie set to music. And I like it.
Watch the trailer for Baby Driver here:
Director: Edgar Wright
Screenplay: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, Lily James, Eiza Gonzales, and CJ Jones
Running Time: 1 hour 53 minutes
MTRCB Rating: R-13
P.S. Wright is a genius. The character names Baby, Buddy, and Darling are all terms of endearment. I just realized this now! 😀