Ansel Elgort and Jamie Foxx in “Baby Driver.”

Rev Your Engines Because “Baby Driver” Is An Energy-Filled Thrill Ride

How can I begin to explain the sheer awesomeness that is Baby Driver? Well, even though it is only June, I can say that this might be the most fun that I have had at the movies this summer. It is a demonstration of why we go to the movies. It had me dancing when I left the theater and I listened to its soundtrack while typing this review. Basically, it is pure awesomeness and even this review probably won’t do this movie justice.

Baby Driver follows the story of a young getaway driver who goes by the name of “Baby” (Ansel Elgort) and whose work consists of driving around various groups of bank robbers including Bats (Jamie Foxx), Buddy (Jon Hamm), Griff (Jon Bernthal), and Darling (Eiza Gonzalez). Baby is rather antisocial, tuning everyone and everything around him out with his music, and he’s had a troubled past involving the death of his parents. But he starts to come out his shell once he meets a kindly diner waitress named Debora (Lily James). After he thinks that he has started to leave his life of crime behind, his boss Doc (Kevin Spacey) lures him back in for a big high stakes heist.

One thing that makes this film super special is that it has a little something for everybody. It has fun car chases that’ll please action fans, a love story for those that like romance, an eclectic musical soundtrack for those that love musicals or music in film, it is packed with humor if you like comedy, and there is even an emotional storyline involving not just Baby’s backstory but the relationship between Baby and his deaf foster father Joseph (CJ Jones) that gives the film plenty of heart. It has everything that I personally want in a blockbuster.

Another of the film’s greatest asset is Ansel Elgort’s leading performance as Baby. Elgort is an actor that has been on the cusp of super stardom, having been in films like Divergent and The Fault In Our Stars. But his role here really allows him to live up to his potential. Even when he doesn’t have lines of dialogue, he can still command your attention with a sly smile. If that isn’t an indication of star power, I don’t know what is. I also thought he and Lily James had intoxicating chemistry. Even if James isn’t given as much to do, she still was a likeable presence and I look forward to what she does next.

But the supporting actors get a chance to shine as well. Jamie Foxx steals every scene he is in as Bats, an unhinged bank robber who has those around him unsure of his next move. Also, Kevin Spacey proves his rather undervalued knack for deadpan comedy as Doc. Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, and Eiza Gonzalez manage to be a commanding presence when on screen as well.

Director Edgar Wright manages to incorporate his traditional style of doing an innovative pastiche on beloved genres like with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World which is a film adaptation of a comic book made to look like a live-action comic book. Here, Wright is able to toy with tropes in the action genre with a self-awareness demonstrated through the dialogue that never becomes overbearing. Given the film’s plot involving a getaway driver looking to leave behind his life of crime while falling in love, one could also look at it as a slight homage to the 2011 film Drive. Yet Wright still uses that homage to create his own refreshing storyline.

Overall, Baby Driver is a fast paced thrill ride that is action packed and heartfelt yet consistently self aware and parodical. If you want to go to the movies to see an action film this summer but you want to see one that has a ton of heart and is made with passion, floor it on the gas pedal and race to your local theater to see Baby Driver. It is a blast!!!!

Grade: A+

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