Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a taciturn getaway driver for heist mastermind Doc (Kevin Spacey), who considers him as “a good kid and a devil behind the wheel.”
With a pair of sunnies and iPod earbuds almost permanently affixed, Baby drives to his own playlist, which blocks out the tinnitus he sustained in a childhood accident, as well as the inane chatter of the motley crews he expedites from crime scenes – lowlifes like Buddy (Jon Hamm), Bats (Jamie Foxx) and Darling (Eiza González).
Having finally squared a longtime debt with Doc, Baby adopts the mantra of the weary criminal-for-hire: “One more job. Then I’m done.” Moreover, he’s just found love with diner waitress Debora (Lily James) and the future’s so bright, he’ll still need those shades. But Doc doesn’t want to lose such a valuable asset, and when the two worlds collide, well, nobody puts Baby in a corner…
Edgar Wright has toyed with zombies, buddy cops, aliens and video games, but this particular Baby was born out of the British writer-director’s longtime desire to set a car chase to the sound of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s “Bellbottoms”. The result is an obvious labour of love and easily Wright’s best film to date; a fast and furious action-thriller with a sweet romance at its heart, high speed pursuits to rank alongside Ronin, and a soundtrack that just won’t quit.
Baby Driver is also propelled by its own discernible rhythm, with scenes and dialogue frequently synced to whatever song is pumping from baby’s ‘Pod at the time. Whether it’s “Harlem Shuffle” or Barry White’s ” Never, Never Gonna Give You Up”, Wright never misses a beat, and neither does his cast.
Ansel Elgort is perfect as the baby-faced protagonist with a killer glare, and until now has been mostly wasted in teen fare like Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars. Expect to see more of him following this. And in the absence of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, we get Spacey’s ruthless but fatherly crime lord and a terrific Jon Hamm shaking off Don Draper to play a real madman.
A relentless remix of The Driver, The Getaway and True Romance, Baby Driver is a cool ride from go to whoa.
In cinemas: July 13, 2017
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Check out our interview with Edgar Wright and cast.