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Lily James and Ansel Elgort in "Baby Driver"; photo courtesy of Sony Pictures

Review overview

Review 7

Summary

7 tech score

“Baby Driver” (Tri Star)

“Baby Driver” is a heist film set to music. There is music in its mood, music in its movement, music in its characters, music in its message. And at the center of it all is a guy named Baby (Ansel Elgort) whose life revolves around the music in the tapes he has made. It is a unique way to fashion a film and when it comes to being different “Baby Driver” gets high marks.

Writer/director Edgar Wright certainly knows how to keep a pulsating beat going in his story of a young man named Baby who is tied to a crime boss. Doc (Kevin Spacey) has tBaby in his debt and is letting him pay him off one job at a time. Baby is his getaway driver and he knows his business. He actually choreographs each event in his mind and to his music so that when it happens it all moves along to a song and success.

Complications arise when Baby meets diner waitress Debora (Lily James) and decides there is more to life than crime. He wants to hit the open road and leave his past behind, but that is easier said than done. Doc still has his tentacles around him and his co-workers are a surly group, especially Bats (Jamie Foxx). It all comes down to one last job and we all know those rarely go right.

Elgort is perfect casting for the role of Baby. He has the looks and attitude that are necessary to create the persona of Baby. Even when Baby is falling in love with Debora his love for music is still paramount. It permeates everything he does, and it is fascinating to watch how he expresses it.

Opposite him Lily James is all ordinary girl. Debora has had a tough life and is looking for a way out. She and Baby meet at the right place and at the right time. James plays down her looks and amps up her ordinariness. She is totally believable as Debora, from beginning to end.

The supporting players add to the richness of the total film. Foxx, Spacey, Jon Hamm and Eliza Gonzales combine their talents to create a dangerous veneer on the top of Baby’s life. They use him for his talent but never put their trust completely in his hands. It is all a dance of cruelty that will spell disaster when the music ends.

Wright knows exactly how to keep the tempo of his movie flowing. The film opens with a surge of energy and ebbs and flows with just the right amounts of a fevered pitch to the end. When it is over Wright has dotted all the “i’s” and crossed all the “t’s” to tell a totally complete story. You don’t get that every time you watch a movie this intense, but it is appreciated here.

The movie is rated R for violence and profanity.

There is a uniqueness, a completeness, and a satisfaction in watching a movie so well made. “Baby Driver” is a unique offering in a summer of sequels, remakes and duds. It stands out like a pop tune racing for the top of the charts.

I scored “Baby Driver” a road running 7 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com

Jackie Cooper

The author Jackie Cooper

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