The Fast and the Furious as a rock opera ballet, by way of Tarantino, directed by Edgar Wright, Baby Driver is a fever dream euphoria of pulsatingly eclectic music, outrageous stunts, and wild characters.
The plot of Baby Driver revolves around an exceedingly simple, albeit rather high concept, idea. A young driving prodigy (Ansel Elgort) uses personal soundtrack to coordinate his motorized antics as well as keep the flow of his life going. Serving to drown out his constant tinnitus as well as synchronize his head and hands behnd the wheel, music is a constant and integral part of Baby’s life. Oh, and he currently serves as the personal getaway driver for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey).
Things are never simple when you’re a key player in big scale robberies, no matter how good you are, or how much you’d like to get out of the game. Baby learns that the hard way as he finds himself and those he cares about thrown into a crumbling landscape of high stakes betrayal, high octane vehicles, and no way out.
Unless I’m forgetting something (hit me up in the comments if I am), Baby Driver is probably the closest we’ve ever come to a musical action movie. No, the characters don’t really break out into song, but just about moment in this action packed film is carefully orchestrated so that nearly everything on screen is in sync with the music that Baby (and we) are listening to the entire time. With somewhere around thirty different songs, wildly differing from one another, the whole experience is like a visual concert. Never just a gimmick, though, as the plot, characters, action, and soundtrack all slide together seamlessly to create a unique and completely enjoyable experience.
Remember Crank, where Jason Statham plays a guy who has to go around kickstarting his adrenaline levels or he’ll die? OK, imagine that but where music replaces adrenaline and instead of an over the top Statham shebang we have an intricately conceived piece of cinematic art.
Exhausting, but never tiring, Baby Driver puts you in the driver’s seat of something truly special and takes you on a scenic ride of cacophony and brilliance. Keeping itself in check, the film never strays too far from reality and the chemistry between the cast members sparks. When I heard that Elgort was on the shortlist for young Han Solo, I was mystified. Sure he is great in The Fault in our Stars, and he did what he could with the mess that is Divergent, but Han? I couldn’t see it. After watching him as Baby, however, I totally get it. He’s even dressed like our favorite space scoundrel here. Scoundrel is a great word, in fact, as he pulls off the innocent bad boy combination perfectly. You’ll root for him from the first to the last moments.
Memorable characters, mind blowing stunts, and a unique premise tied to a smart script come together into a one of a kind film that is this year’s first true must see movie experiences.
Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film
Brother Hamster did not screen this film
My rating: Five out of five hats
Baby Driver burns rubber into theaters nationwide, June 28