HOLLYWOOD—Rarely do I fan-buzz about a movie, I mean its takes a lot for me to advocate for people not to walk, but rush to the theater to see a film, and that movie is the new action flick “Baby Driver.” I’ve seen plenty of high-octane, action flicks involving cars, but never one to this degree. This is a movie that is smart, clever and a thrill-a-minute that involves getaway driver, Baby (Ansel Elgort) who can escape a heist in ways that makes the “Fast and Furious” franchise look like a joke.
The opening sequence for “Baby Driver” is so enthralling, full of tricks and epic stunts that it will leave you dumbfounded. It’s seriously something you have to see TWICE to fully appreciate what is transpiring on the big screen. The bulk of the narrative revolves around Baby and his connection to criminal titan Doc (Kevin Spacey), who has a skill for putting together groups to rob banks. Spacey is fantastic in this villainous role with a twist; it’s not so much what he does that makes him scary, it’s how he says it. We have a villain whose words strike you at the core, and Spacey doesn’t disappoint one bit.
Also part of the group is “Mad Men” alum Jon Hamm as Buddy, Eiza Gonzalez as Darling, Jon Bernthal as Griff and Jamie Foxx as Bats. This movie fleshes out the characters so well, so definitively that no character fills like filler or leaves the audience questioning their importance to the movie. Darling brings plenty of laughter, Hamm is an interesting character surrounded in secrecy, and I must admit that Foxx was a hoot to watch as an unhinged villain who likes to make everyone uncomfortable with his tactics people.
The one character that I did miss was Griff, who seemed to fade out of the background after the opening sequence to the film, but he serves his purpose. However, what makes “Baby Driver” such a feat is the performance by Ansel Elgort. He brings so much mystery, charm and fun to Baby who the audience gets more and more slices to as the movie propels. The character barely talks the first 30 minutes of the movie, and when he begins to chat we start to understand more and more about this guy whose affinity for music is a soundtrack that meshes so well it’s downright scary to me.
Baby suffered an accident as a kid that left his parents dead and him suffering from humming in his ears; as a result he utilizes music to tune out the humming. I loved watching the relationship between Baby and his foster father, Joseph (CJ Jones), who just happens to be deaf. Baby communicates with him using ASL. As someone who knows plenty of people who are Deaf, it’s nice to see the cinematic world start to usher in characters with diversity. Joseph is Baby’s conscience; he hopes to get Baby to see that what he is doing is dangerous and will ultimately have consequences. Also changing Baby’s perspective of life is Debora (Lily James), whose love for music catches Baby’s heart. James and Elgort have great chemistry together, and Debora brings lightness to the flick, as well as an element of laughter. She is the reason we learn more about Baby.
There is one more element to discuss in the movie that is of massive importance: the music. Now, at first I thought I would be annoyed by the constant music throughout the flick, but it actually works. Why? That is because the music is the audience’s introduction to our main character; each song, each playlist, not only gives us another slice to Baby, but delivers this synchrony that makes the spectator feel like they’re inside Baby’s head at all times. Also it does not hurt to have a killer soundtrack that dictates Baby’s driving ability or mood for the day people.
The script by director Edgar Wright is witty, original, clever and sutures the audiences from the opening and never lets go until the credits start to roll. Wright seamlessly captures the action sequences that don’t feel too over the top, and draws a bevy of mixed emotions for the viewer. Characters that I wanted to hate, I found myself fascinated to want to know more about. “Baby Driver” is indeed the most entertaining, enthralling flick I’ve seen in 2017. The movie is so awesome; I have plans to see it a second time in theaters. Now that is indeed a rarity for me people!