Edgar Wright infuses the whip-snap comedy of his earlier films with crackly action pieces designed to thrill.
Baby Driver has some similarities to Refn’s Drive – if only the latter had been given a kick-ass iPod and a snort of cocaine. It’s one of those rare films that deliver the goods in bulk – to the point where audience members may feel cheap for only paying once.
Foxx, Hamm, and Gonzalez suitably flesh out the crew as career crims while cool-as-they-come Ansel Elgort leads the charge as Baby. The orchestrator of each job comes in the form of Kevin Spacey’s Doc, adding gravitas to an already slick production. It’s great to see Spacey behind the barrel of a firearm again – especially since most of his glorious House of Cards smack-downs come verbally. And while Spacey relishes his continuing role as corrupt presidenté Underwood in season 5 of Netflix’ flagship series, his turn in Baby Driver shows audiences how equally rich he can be in something less austere.
Despite the stellar cast, it’s really the pulse pounding soundtrack and innovative jump-cut video editing that make this film unique. When rubber begins to burn, viewers are treated to an aural and visual feast as gunshots, door slams, punches and winks are delivered in synchronized splendour. Kudos to Wright’s talented cast and post-prod team for committing to a pitch that couldn’t have been an easy sell: there are no leads. The music itself is the A-List celeb.
Wright (of Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim fame) has to be commended for taking a typical plot and totally revitalizing it into a 2017 sleeper hit film. And also for making the iPod relevant again. Not only has he subjugated pre-conceived notions about the heist/gangster genre, but rivets cinema-goers to the wall with a swathe of eclectic hit songs and trunk-loads of charismatic cool. This man has not only stamped an identifiable trademark on his film, but obliterated genre expectations for film-makers hoping to visit similar territory in the near future.
4 out of 5 stars