Baby Driver: Music drives Edgar Wright’s Action Thriller

Doc (KEVIN SPACEY, right) tells Baby (ANSEL ELGORT) he has another job for him in TriStar Pictures' BABY DRIVER. Photo credit: Wilson Webb

Baby Driver is one of the best films of the first half of 2017 and director Edgar Wright uses music to the film’s advantage.

Written and directed by Edgar Wright, Baby Driver stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza Gonzalez, with Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.

My initial thought as I watched the movie last Wednesday was that Baby Driver utilizes the music at a level that the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise might never reach.  Without the music to drive the movie, it just wouldn’t work.  It’s all because of a car accident that left Baby with tinnitus in his ear.  In order to drown out the ringing, he’s listening to music all the time.

Baby is a driver who works for Doc (Spacey), a kingpin crime boss, and getting out of the business isn’t easy.  He still owes money to Doc and does one last job before calling it quits.  He decides to quit the business for real when he meets Debora (James), a waitress, at a diner.  Quitting doesn’t go so easy as Doc calls him in for another job.  He just happens to be great at a job that he shouldn’t be doing in the first place–even his deaf foster father (CJ Jones)  tries to encourage him to leave the arena.

The crew for the next heist includes Buddy (Hamm), Darling (Gonzalez), and Bats (Foxx).  The operation goes smoothly until Bats decides he wants to stop at a diner.  Baby is ill at ease since it’s the one where Debora works.  After this, the bodies start to pile up and anything that can go wrong does.

“There might be music, and there might be choreography, but this is not your everyday musical,” Wright says of Baby Driver. “At the same time, we had to maintain the right sense of tone that is both intense and suspenseful, but most importantly fun and exciting.”

Hamm has done a great job with searching for roles so that everyone doesn’t remember him for portraying Don Draper on Mad Men.  That’s a trait that I like in an actor.  He’s played everything from FBI agent to secret agent to the love interest and now, he’s playing one of the guys on a heist crew that you don’t want to cross.  In this case, Hamm plays a stock broker who made some very bad decisions.  Hamm was on  board from the very first table read in 2012.

As far as Wright’s previous films go, it’s very different.  As far as films with crime and car chases, the Atlanta-shot film is a game-changer for the genre.

TriStar Pictures opens Baby Driver in theaters on June 28, 2017.  You can purchase the soundtrack album here.

 

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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