It’s fast, frenetic and full of good tunes – Baby Driver is taking the world by storm.
This both works in its favour (lots of people will rush out to see it!) and to its detriment (it cannot possibly live up to all the hype its getting).
The film, which is brilliantly made and meticulously designed, is undoubtedly great, but it’s best to go into the cinema expecting a good film, not a world-beater – then you won’t be at all disappointed.
Director Edgar Wright is a true auteur – his attention to detail and knack for artful foreshadowing (which really pays off in repeated viewings) has always been a staple of his films and Baby Driver is no different.
An early sequence sees lead character Baby (Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars) listening to one of his trusty iPods – he has several – and grooving along to Harlem Shuffle as words from the song appear on graffiti and streets signs behind him. The precision needed to pull off such an unbroken sequence is mind-boggling.
It would be a struggle to find a non-musical film where the soundtrack is so intricately tied to the action as it is in Baby Driver.
There is barely a moment in the almost two-hour running time when a song is not playing in the background, its lyrics either reflecting the action or its beat mirroring the cuts of the film.
The casting is completely on point – Elgort soars as the music-obsessed driver and Lily James (Cinderella) is a treat as his love interest Debora.
Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects) leads the pack as criminal coordinator Doc while Jamie Foxx (Ray), Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Eiza Gonzalez (TV’s From Dusk till Dawn) are also fabulous as fellow outlaws.
Fans of Wright’s four previous films – Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and The World’s End – might be surprised by how very American Baby Driver is. Also surprising is that it’s not really a comedy, as his previous films largely are.
The actual plot – the unwitting criminal must complete one last job before riding off into the sunset – is of less importance than the style and feel of the film.
Baby Driver is an impressive visual feat: from real – and spectacular – car stunts to its commendable production design.