One of the greatest thrills I can imagine is a movie that takes you by surprise, I was exposed to zero build-up to this movie, didn’t see a trailer and don’t think I saw a poster, all I knew when I went in was it was directed by Edgar Wright (whose work I’m a fan of) and that a few people I knew spoke very highly of it, and I have a feeling I’ll be adding my voice to the chorus of positivity before this review is out… have I said too much already?
Baby is a talented young getaway driver working for crime boss Doc to pay off a debt he owes after trying to steal one of Doc’s cars. Due to severe tinnitus he is constantly listening to his iPod, lost in his own world. Along the way he’ll mix with eccentric criminals to help pull off heists.
After paying off his debt, he swears off his life as a getaway driver, instead getting a job as a pizza delivery guy and sparking a relationship with a girl he meets at his favourite diner, however he is coerced back into driving by Doc, and the situation soon breaks down…
I apologise that the plot synopsis I gave there is short, but it really is a film you must experience first hand, and reading it here would most certainly spoil the experience, but take my word for this, it is an incredible movie, all the better for the fact that I didn’t know what to expect going in, and hopefully by retaining certain details anyone who may read this will enjoy it just as much.
Make no mistake, this is a good movie, no not good, great, it’s slick direction and cinematography compliment the killer soundtrack and aid a talented cast in giving great performances all around. There are times where the direction will take you back to Wright’s earlier efforts alongside Messrs Pegg and Frost, specifically in it’s depiction of action and violence, the action peaks during one of the few gunfights, where the sounds of the action seamlessly mix with the soundtrack as if it was written specifically for it.
The soundtrack is comprised of both classics and modern efforts covering everything from Run The Jewels to The Damned, and like certain movies in the Marvel Universe, is made all the better for it. Scenes are presented in synchronicity with the music giving the impression of a character lost in a world of music.
Speaking of characters, there are some real stand-out performances in this movie, starting with the lead character for who the film is named, Baby, who is played by Ansel Elgort, a young actor with an undoubtedly bright future. Pulling off a character like Baby couldn’t have been an easy task, the character is exactly talkative so you have to bring it out in his body language and behaviour, Ansel dives into this challenge with a triple-somersault pike and wins the proverbial gold medal (please pardon that tortured metaphor) elsewhere, Kevin Spacey plays crime lord Doc, and inhabits every scene he’s in and injects it with the grit it needed, there’s a part of Kevin Spacey that I think really enjoys being a villain, so imagine his disappointment when he found out that the character inhabits a shade of grey, and straddles the line of villainy effortlessly.
Among the few characters he drives to heists the characters of Buddy and Bats, played by John Hamm and Jamie Foxx respectively, stand out, Jamie revels in playing the unhinged criminal, turning in a performance to put alongside his great turns in Django and Ray to name but a few. Hamm, goes through a devastating arc in the run-time of the movie, which to say that he seemed like a throwaway side character for most of the runtime is rare in movies, the part was always in capable hands with the talented Hamm, who borders on stealing the show.
There is so much more I could say but risk bordering cheerleading at this point, the only criticism I can think of was in it’s marketing, as a movie this good should have way more coverage than it has, so I’m gonna do the movie a solid and recommend that you make time to see this movie, you won’t be disappointed.