Your foot starts tapping the moment the movie opens with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s Bellbottoms, set to one of the most exhilarating car chases you’ll see this year.
Yes, it even makes the ones in Fast And Furious 8 look like a motorshow parade.
Director Edgar Wright came up with the idea for Baby Driver in 1995 after listening to Bellbottoms over and over again, imagining a car chase that would be filmed in sync with that song.
More than 20 years later, he has not only committed said car chase to film, but turned it into the exhilarating intro to one of most entertaining movies of the year.
In it, Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a genius driver who had an accident when he was a child, which left him with tinnitus, a “hum in the drum” which he drowns out using music. Baby never leaves home without his iPod (or several).
Baby works for Doc (Kevin Spacey), a robbery mastermind who uses different crew for each heist – including party animal couple Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eliza Gonzalez), and the dangerously batty Bats (Jamie Foxx) – but considers Baby his lucky charm.
However, when Baby falls in love with waitress Debora (Lily James), he starts to plan his escape from the criminal life.
The “story of a young driver who cannot exist without music”, Wright’s movie is driven entirely by its music.
Music is the heart, the rhythm, the blues, the rock and the soul of this movie – almost every single scene is choreographed to match the music, even the quieter romantic moments between Baby and Debora.
Heck, it was even named after the 1970 Simon & Garfunkel song Baby Driver.
All 35 songs in the film deserve the top billing just as much as Elgort and A-listers Spacey and Foxx.
And what an eclectic playlist this makes, with songs from Blur, The Damned, The Commodores, The Champs, T. Rex, Queen, Run The Jewels, Sky Ferreira, The Beach Boys and more. Even when there are no recognisable songs on, there is an irresistible rhythm that just keeps your foot tapping along.
It’s not just the music that’s the star here though.
Wright’s script delivers a constant barrage of wit and humour that range from cute little one-liners to laugh-out-loud moments (“Don’t feed me anymore lines from Monsters Inc!”).
Spacey is wonderful to watch as a crime boss who is both a father figure and a deadly enemy, Foxx is at his most dangerous and murderous, and Hamm hams it up as an almost deranged Don Draper.
With just those elements alone, you’ve already got a decent movie. Now, put all that together in one glorious marriage of sounds, music and brilliant car chases, and this becomes one hell of a ride.
Baby Driver is like a musical set to car chases and gunfights. It is a glorious playlist of musical visuals that gets you grooving, irresistibly, to its beat. And throughout the entire film, your foot will never stop tapping.
Director: Edgar Wright
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal