Review: Baby Driver – Neat Neat Neat

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Baby DriverI have to admit that going into the new film, Baby Driver, I was of the opinion that after you’ve seen 200-some-odd car chase movies, you’ve seen them all. I mean, after you’ve watched a car chase involving a nuclear submarine (i.e. The Fate of the Furious), what else could there possibly be to see? Writer/Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) has entertainingly proven me wrong.

This film blends awesome action with a superior soundtrack in an original and logical way that makes it all an incredibly fun thrill ride, where the tunes bring the audience into the protagonist’s head in a uniquely fun way that I’ve never experienced before. All the buzz you are hearing is true – this movie is a blast.

In addition to the edge-of-your-seat car action, Baby Driver is also the best and most convincing love story that you are likely to see in the cinema this year – making it an almost perfect date-movie, in that you’ll likely fall in love with its leads, Baby (Ansel Elgort) and Debora (Lily James).

Without getting into the film’s minutia, which is revealed in flashbacks as the narrative progresses, Baby is an indentured servant of sorts to a criminal kingpin known as Doc (Kevin Spacey), who masterminds bank heists with the young man as the getaway driver.

But, Baby is not just any wheelman. He has supernatural skills behind the wheel, powered by an iPod mix that fuels and focuses his special abilities. Through the film’s soundtrack, you hear the tunes he hears and you will believe a man can fly – through traffic – going any direction – as if he were Superman on wheels.

Baby DriverLike any good anti-hero, our man just has to do one more job and then he’s out and can walk away from “the life” forever… and, of course, things are never that easy. Just as Baby meets diner waitress, Debora, and falls madly in love, his world goes uncontrollably awry.

Baby Driver also stars Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Eiza González, Jamie Foxx and Flea as various crazed bank robbers; and there are a couple of fun guest cameos to be seen as well. But, the biggest co-star of this film is its amazing soundtrack, which includes music as varied as Neat Neat Neat by The Damned, Brighton Rock by Queen, Debora by T. Rex, Egyptian Reggae by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers, and even the deep classic cut, Baby Driver, by Simon & Garfunkel (which Edgar Wright, obviously, drew inspiration from.)

Young actor Ansel Elgort has been in some good films, like The Fault in Our Stars, but his portrayal of “Baby” is likely to catapult his star in the same way that Risky Business did for Tom Cruise and Footloose did for Kevin Bacon. The kid easily outshines his Oscar winning co-stars.

The film veers off course slightly towards its conclusion and drifts into stereotypical, melodramatic territory, where the main baddie never seems to die; but, that’s a minor complaint and the movie actually ends most perfectly.

Baby Driver is a fantastic and fun film, and is a perfect date movie for a hot summer weekend. Grade: 8.5/10

Photos Copyright © 2017 TriStar Pictures, Inc.

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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