- James Mottram
- 26 June 2017
Exhilarating US-set crime caper from Britain's Edgar Wright featuring a stonking soundtrack
A heist movie for the iTunes generation, at times Edgar Wright's new film feels like an extended pop video. So it won't come as a surprise to learn that the director of Hot Fuzz explored the central nugget of Baby Driver, albeit in more comic fashion, in his 2002 promo for Mint Royale's 'Blue Song', with Noel Fielding grooving in a getaway car while Michael Smiley, Nick Frost and Julian Barratt rob a bank.
Featuring Wright's first solo-penned script, Baby Driver is an exuberant crime caper, with cars, girls and music. Lots of music. Baby (The Fault in Our Stars' Ansel Elgort) is an Atlanta wheelman working under duress for Kevin Spacey's ageing crook Doc. He hardly speaks, preferring to listen to his collection of iPods – partly to drown out the tinnitus that has troubled him since childhood. But, behind the wheel, he's something else.
With music so important to Baby, it becomes the lifeblood of the film. Whether pounding the street or pulling 180s on the freeway, the action is choreographed expertly to the beats. From Queen to Simon & Garfunkel (whose song lends the film its title) to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the choices are eclectic, rarely obvious and perfectly selected to fit the mood of the moment. As soundtracks go, it's up there with Pulp Fiction.
True, the story is hardly original, as Baby is forced into doing one last heist when he just wants to escape with his girl, diner waitress Debora (Lily James). But Wright's zesty direction reinvigorates tired old genre clichés, the car chases are exhilarating and co-stars Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Eiza González – playing Baby's fellow bank robbers – revel in the snappy dialogue and macho posturing. Nodding to films like True Romance and Drive, it's a thunderbolt of a movie.
General release from Wed 28 Jun.