'Baby Driver' gets by on musical energy

'Baby Driver' gets by on musical energy

Which is stark contrast to Baby Driver's 100% rating on the site.

Using a mix of incredible needle-drops, insane vehicle chases, pitch-perfect performances, and a stellar script, Wright's latest is a summer release that finally lives up to the hype. Nor should it, really - it would be brutal to sustain something like that for the duration of a film (and we already have "Mad Max: Fury Road"). Wright, the visionary behind "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and "Shaun of the Dead", chose to set much of the movie to music - not just in the sense of a traditional soundtrack, but in that the visuals of the film would exactly match the beats of the songs pumping through Baby's head. He lives with his elderly, wheelchair-bound foster father Joseph (the wonderful C.J. Jones), who is deaf, which might seem too obvious an irony in a story about a kid who's ruled by music.

Baby gets everyone back to the safe house where we meet the brains of the operation, Doc (Kevin Spacey).

This leads to the final job, one that involves Buddy, Bats, Doc, and even Debora, who gets roped in.

By the time you get to the third heist, then Baby should make life or death decisions himself. And we quickly realize Doc has been forcing Baby to do jobs for him since Baby tried to rob him. He doesn't say much, ever, and he always has a pair of headphones in his ears.




The movie opens with a demonstration of Baby's prowess, evading cops in a sequence briskly choreographed to the music that the character plays nonstop, his way of equalizing a ringing sound that haunts him from an earlier accident. Watch it purely for the slick visuals and Ansel Elgort's star-making act. They talk and flirt and fall for each other and wax poetic about heading west on I-20 in a vehicle they can't afford with plans they don't have. Instead of syncing the action to a track as the movie was being edited, it was shot to be beat-for-beat-just like we all do when we time our morning run to Beyoncé's "Ring the Alarm" (or, you know, whatever is on your sprint mix).

Elgort is pretty charming as Baby - which is a tough part to get right. He's also a young man of few words, because he's constantly listening to music because to offset his tinnitus.

That's what Baby Driver director Edgar Wright told Uproxx when asked if he has seen Ant-Man, the 2015 Marvel film he helped develop, but ultimately chose not to direct. Also, James, a terrific actress, is reduced to a cartoonish approximation of "the girl" who's only there to give our hero something to care about. The characters don't sing in Baby Driver, so it's definitely not a musical if you're going by the strict definition. He's clearly having a good time, playing cool customer in front of his criminal cohort, shimmying his way through the streets when they're not looking; he's an excellent dancer, and not a self-conscious one, which is key. You see three heists and each one gets stickier and more complicated.

Writer-director Edgar Wright has a string of critically acclaimed features to his name, including the cult-classic Shaun of the Dead and the comics adaptation of Scott Pilgrim Vs.

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