Baby Driver

 

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Edgar Wright reinvents the heist movie with lashings of music, style and drive.

 

Baby Driver

Drive-time mix tape: Ansel Elgort on the move

 

In the words of Simon and Garfunkel, ‘Baby Driver’ hit the road and was gone. It’s a dream that the getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) holds dear, but he is in debt to a gangster called Doc (Kevin Spacey) and has to bide his time. In spite of his youth, Baby has been working for Doc for years now but only has one last job to pull off before he’s free. In the meantime, he meets and falls for a small-time waitress called Debora, as in the song by T. Rex. Baby likes his music and can only drive like the devil when he’s plugged into a mix tape especially assembled for the ride. He also dubs in snatches of conversation he records on his dictaphone and carries a variety of bespoke iPhones on his person. And if his cohorts don’t think he’s listening, don’t be fooled – he’s a master lip reader.

 

Baby is one helluva intriguing character, a bundle of contradictions neatly packaged into the handsome form of Ansel Elgort. And there’s an equally engaging rogue’s gallery of trigger-happy crooks, spearheaded by Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Jon Bernthal, not to mention Sir Kevin. For sex appeal, there’s Jon Hamm’s provocative wife, Darling (Eiza González), with ‘His’ tattooed on her neck, and Lily James as Debora.

 

The writer-director Edgar Wright has a muscular grip on the pop-cultural world and likes to mix and match as much as his eponymous hero does. So, while we and Baby are listening to The Commodores, The Damned, Golden Earring, Queen and Barry White, the director harvests movie references from Fight Club to Monsters, Inc. It’s a giddy ride, stylishly unfolded, and while the characters are largely one-dimensional ciphers, they’re hardly short on colour. As a violent heist movie with a romantic core, Baby Driver is original enough to blow a gust of fresh air into the franchise-festering multiplex. And, in spite of the odd leap of logic, it guarantees you won’t be bored.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Flea, Lanny Joon, Sky Ferreira, CJ Jones.

 

Dir Edgar Wright, Pro Nira Park, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Screenplay Edgar Wright, Ph Bill Pope, Pro Des Marcus Rowland, Ed Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss, Music Steven Price, Costumes Courtney Hoffman.

 

Big Talk Productions/Working Title Films/Media Rights Capital-Sony Pictures.

112 mins. UK/USA. 2017. Rel: 28 June 2017. Cert. 15.