Baby Driver Reviewed By Clayton Barnett

The Premise
A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

The Review
Baby Driver has been my most hotly anticipated movie of 2017 – do-no-wrong director, cracker cast and stunner soundtrack - and this ride did not disappoint.

Edgar Wright can do no wrong in my book – it was an absolute shame he didn’t make Marvel’s Ant-Man – From Shaun of the Dead to Scott Pilgrim vs the World his meticulously planned movies are such a delight for film nerds, and now his first American-made film looks to lift the Brit to the big time.

And what a director behind the wheel. There are three jaw-dropping heist scenes, Wright’s adherence to filming the action scenes as realistically as possible make for some stunning stunt-driving. Let alone an early epic tracking shot that took 28 takes. Edgar’s attention to detail, Easter eggs and whip smart script takes this action movie to another level.

One of the best ensemble casts of the year, Wright has handpicked some devilishly good talent. Kevin Spacey steals it as mastermind Doc, Jamie Foxx is a ticking time bomb as the unstable Bats, Jon Bernthal is a punishing wounder, and in the only role written specifically written for him Jon Hamm is at his cool-as-hell best.

Some have faulted The Fault in Our Stars star Ansel Elgort but his quietly cool character is the perfect foil for the criminally large egos in the backseat. It may lack well-rounded female characters but Lily James (Deborah) and Liza Gonzalez (Darling) still rev up the screen.

Not only is it pulse-pounding, it’s a toe-tapping trip too. Wright had the beginnings of this film over 20 years ago when he thought Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s Bellbottoms would make a great track to a bank robbery. Bellbottom gives the film a full-throttle start, a warehouse gun-fight shoots out to the beat of Tequlia, along with eclectic and electric tracks from Queen, R.E.M., The Beach Boys, Beck, The Commodores, Run the Jewels and Barry White.

The Verdict
Baby Driver is one of the must-see movies of the year. Edgar Wright has meticulously planned a hilarious, action-packed whip-smart film that is just a joy to watch on the big screen. And it’s not half bad to listen to either.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 20th July 2017
Rating: R13 – Contains strong violence & offensive language
Duration: 113 minutes 
Genre:  Action
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, with Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx
Director: Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz)

The Extras
In an introduction from Edgar Wright, It is revealed that there was no CGI or green screen used to film the car chase sequences. The driving is all practically done.

Jamie Foxx would often stay and watch Kevin Spacey's scenes, even when he wasn't in the scene.

Jon Hamm's role was written for him, and is the only actor from the first table read to be in the final film.

First Edgar Wright film to be shot in the United States.

Originally set in LA, the film was finally shot in Atlanta. Other cities with tax incentives were ruled out as being too cold or fell through at the last minute. Wright had local writers and location scouts help him rewrite the film to make it authentically Atlanta.

Whenever Edgar Wright had Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey in the same shot, he would whisper to a colleague: "That's a two-Oscar shot!"

CJ Jones (who plays Joseph, a deaf character) is deaf in real life.

Worried he would lose communications link with his actors or cameras, Edgar Wright had himself strapped to the shooting car, rather than being in a follow car. Jon Hamm joked that he had to perform while looking at a "sunburnt muppet" flopping about.

Edgar Wright had been sitting on this idea for a film for many years. His first use of it was a music video he directed for British electronic duo Mint Royale and their track "Blue Song". The video stars Noel Fielding as a music-loving getaway driver for a group of bank robbers, one of whom is Wright's regular Nick Frost. A clip from the video is featured in the film when channels are being flipped through on the television in Baby's apartment.

When Edgar Wright wanted Ansel Elgort to be more stern in a shot he used the code words: "Man Driver!" He taught him the "Kubrick look" by showing Ansel a picture on his phone of Malcolm McDowell in character in A Clockwork Orange (1971).