Edgar Wright is best known for writing and directing movies such as ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘Shaun of the Dead’, British comedy classics shown time and time again on TV to fill an evening slot; good films, but not quite Hollywood blockbuster status. Wright’s new movie ‘Baby Driver’ is unlike any of his previous films and in fact, unlike any other movie found in cinema today. This is a truly fresh, unique piece of film-making that is being appreciated by film buffs the world over, and hopefully gaining the recognition it deserves.
‘Baby’ (Ansel Elgort) is a music obsessed, talented get-a-way driver, forcefully employed by the threatening yet father-like criminal, ‘Doc’ (Kevin Spacey) in order to repay a debt from his boyhood. He lives his life to a rhythm, as does the audience, as his headphones play a constant stream of classic tunes from Queen, T. Rex and Simon and Garfunkel among others, in order to drown out the hum of the tinnitus he suffers following a childhood car accident. He juggles his life of crime with caring for his deaf foster-father, until he meets the girl of his dreams and decides he wants to live his life to the rhythm of a different beat.
Action films now-a-days are often a mix of over-used special effects, combined with poor acting and a cheesy script; however ‘Baby Driver’ can’t be further from this cliché. The car chases are realistic, easy to follow, yet still mind-blowing. Ansel Elgort gives a dynamic, engaging performance as ‘Baby’, and I’m sure this will be a pivotal moment in his career.
This film is a combination of excellently orchestrated action, a twisting plot and interesting characters, all surrounded by a killer soundtrack, which is constantly playing in the background. Every gunshot, gear-change and footstep is in time to the beat of the carefully selected songs, which make this movie truly original.
First published in Marketplace Magazine, Bourne.