Baby Driver is the latest hit from writer/director Edgar Wright. He’s responsible for bringing us cinematic stories like Ant-Man and Scott Pilgrim v. The World. It’s an amalgamation of a typical crime movie where the protagonist has to complete “one last job” with a solid gold soundtrack and a hero that might not be your typical criminal. I’m going to go ahead and tell you that I loved this movie. Like, loved it more than I should have, so this is going to be a big gush for me.
The film opens on a sequence set to Bellbottoms by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. As Baby’s fellow crew members break into a bank across the street, the young getaway driver jams out to the song, and we get the first chance to see how much music impacts his life. As the job ends after a long chase, we learn that Baby was in a wreck as a child which claimed the lives of both of his parents and left him with a permanent ringing in his ears. This leaves him listening to music at all times to drown out the tinnitus.
As we move forward in the movie, we get the chance to see Wright show off a few scenes that feature Baby and his music alone against the setting of urban Atlanta. As the songs impact the story, we move toward the “last job” that will help Baby repay his long-standing debt with Doc, the crime boss played brilliantly by Kevin Spacey, and the climax comes shortly after.
For the fear of spoiling this great movie for you, I’ll stop giving plot points here. I just want to talk about the purpose of music that weaves through Baby’s life. When we drift through small sequences in the movie, the audience gets a chance to sit back and watch the music work into the story. Until Baby meets Debbie (his love interest played brilliantly by Lily James), music and caring for his adoptive father is truly all he has to keep going. The songs that Baby has loaded into several different iPods are what drive him to push forward with his life, despite seeming like he doesn’t have much to live for.
You should go see this movie. Heck, I want to go see it again. Ansel Elgort proved himself to be more than the boy next door in this refreshing take on a getaway driver movie. It’s very rare that a movie sets in motion something like this within an audience member like me, and that’s something special that should be shared with everyone.
(I don’t own any photos used here)