First off, I should say that I love cars, second of all I love car movies. Since the 1969 film The Italian Job there have been very few movies which featured cars and which have also had really good car chases, this is important to me.
The Fast and the Furious franchise of films, though they are mainly about cars, don’t feature really good car chases, annoying considering the budget and some of the cars which appear in the franchise. Afterall, what can you do with a car nowadays which will truly astound people? Not much you’d think, but the opening scene of Baby Driver featuring Ansel Elgort – whose character name is Baby and a red Subaru Impreza offered something new!
One of my favorite maneuvers in the film can be seen in the movie trailer (above, at 1:00) where, when driving down an alley way a van is reversing out into Babys’ path, he pulls the handbrake to change the direction of the car almost to a 180 and with the help of a wet road surface, which in fairness they make no secret of, spins the car back around. I really liked that as you can tell.
Okay so one of the integral things about this film and what made me enjoy it even more than I otherwise would, is the soundtrack. See, Baby was in an accident when he was a child, which resulted in him having tinnitus and to drown it out he is always wearing earphones and listening to one of his many iPods – he has different ones for different days.
Baby is a getaway driver, I won’t go in to too much detail as to how he got into this or why he does it but he drives at the request of the boss – Doc, played by Kevin Spacey. Accompanied by Buddy (Jon Hamm), his wife Darling (Eiza González) and Bats (Jaime Foxx), the ones that carry out the robberies, it’s Babys job to get them out of there as quickly as possible and away from the Police. In order to do this Baby has a sound track for the getaway, if he didn’t then he wouldn’t be able to focus and he would make mistakes, it’s what helps him drive well, the getaway is almost choreographed if you like.
The soundtrack contributes so much to the film and I can’t emphasise that enough and as unusual as it is for me to try and explain this, the gun shots in the film all coincide with the beat of the music at any point in the film, the director Edgar Wright has really outdone himself with this film, it’s clever. Having previously directed Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World’s End (2013) you might be able to identify with these ‘rythmic’ fight scenes but whereas those films were more comedic, Baby Driver takes itself more seriously and although you find yourself smiling at how the gun shots coincide with the music, it’s not funny, you’re too busy sat watching in awe to find it amusing enough to laugh.
What will surprise you? Baby Driver is a love story, although it centres around criminal activity and although no part of what Baby does is ever explained to the girl he loves – Debora (Lily James) who plays a waitress in a diner, she trusts him, understands him and since the day they met they share Deboras’ dream to ‘Head west on 20, in a car I can’t afford, with a plan I don’t have, just my music and the road’.
What disappointed me? Not much, it’s a great film. I would have liked Baby to have had one signature car, at the beginning of the film I thought the Subaru was the one but alas there is no consistency in the car he drives or the style of car. So whilst the Transporter loves his Audi, James Bond loves his Aston and Michael Caine loves his Mini, Baby apparently just loves anything he can get his hands on.
What made me smile? The sound track, the car chases, the Subaru, Kevin Spacey because Kevin Spacey, the storyline and the ending.
What kind of music does he listen to? All kinds, anything from Lionel Richie – Easy like Sunday morning and The Champs – Tequila to Queen – Brighton Rock.
What are the best movie car chases? The Italian Job and Ronin, Baby Driver is up there too but whereas you can go back and watch The Italian Job and Ronin and enjoy the car chase despite so many years having passed, Baby Driver is too new to be able to say it will stand the test of time. I like clever car chases and Baby Driver delivers.
Conclusion: If you like bank robberies, gun fights, cars, car chases, love stories and music then Baby Driver is a must see. It’s fairly action packed so if you don’t like action and violence this film probably isn’t for you.