“Baby”, a young, talented getaway driver, drowns out the sound of his tinnitus by listening to music on his headphones. Press-ganged into the services of a local crime lord, he works off his debt to him with each successive getaway. With only one job remaining, he will soon be free of his debt. -Or will he?
‘Baby Driver’ is an inventive car movie by Edgar Wright, director of ‘Shaun of The Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ amongst others. Fusing together elements of the car movies that he grew up with, Wright’s ‘Baby Driver’ is an unashamed composite of its admired sources.
Using Wright’s already-proven knack for comedy-drama, ‘Baby Driver’ mixes together elements of Nicolas Winding-Refn’s ’Drive’, Walter Hill’s ‘The Driver’ and Steve McQueen’s eponymous ‘Bulitt’ in a modern-day, cinematic remix that literally runs on rails.
‘Baby Driver’ has a tight, linear plot that will never send you crashing through the barriers...
Gliding through an opening dance sequence, we learn about Baby’s (Ansel Egort) reliance upon music and how he uses it to deal with the world and also execute his getaways. Slickly-edited and oozing precision polish in every camera angle, ‘Baby Driver’ has a tight, linear plot that will never send you crashing through the barriers. That said, neither will it puncture your heart – because as an unashamed love-letter to motor movies – ‘Baby Driver’ is a missing one essential element: the car itself.
In the mythology of great on-screen car chases, there is one unspoken rule. When the car chase starts, the talking stops -Why? -Because it’s the car’s turn to speak. From ‘Mad Max’ to ’Ronin’, ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, ‘Buillitt’ and “The French Connection’, it’s the sound of the car’s surging engine and the stunt driver’s skill that segue-ways you into reality.
With its non-stop stream of witty one-liners and snappily-scripted villains, ‘Baby Driver’s’ car chases sadly carry no real threat and feel like brief intersections to the plot’s intended destination. With its dedication to total seamlessness in everything else, it’s sad that ’Baby Driver’ falls short of the great car chases that inspired it.
As with Baby’s romance with Debra (Lily James), the central romance story lacks the conviction of Ryan O’Neal and Isabelle Adjani in ‘The Driver’ or the tragedy Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan ‘Drive’ – both of which so glued you to each film’s final destination.
‘Baby Driver’ is an entertaining movie. It’s a clever remix that will stand out well amongst this summer’s other cinema offerings. However, that said, as with other models in the cinematic showroom, ‘Baby Driver’ will quickly disappear from view when the next, true, classic car chase comes along.