Baby Driver is a departure for Edgar Wright. Actually, it’s a departure for all of Hollywood. This is the kind of heist film that doesn’t get made anymore — if it ever did in the first place. Wright has publically cited Heat, The Usual Suspects and Point Break as significant influences in this tale of a young, but impeccable getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who drives to the beat of his own personal soundtrack.
Baby is the best there is, but he has a tragic past and he’s not in the game for the same reasons as the goons and thugs with whom he’s routinely paired to knock off establishments of every stripe. The man pulling his strings — for one more job — is Doc (Kevin Spacey) a criminal mastermind with his own set of morals. The girl who changes everything for him is Debora (Lily James), a waitress at a diner, who shares his love of music and desire to be anywhere else.
The rotation of criminal characters around Baby doesn’t share Debora’s enthusiasm for his sweet nature. They spit things like “you can’t do crime without being a little criminal.” They grow jealous of Doc’s obvious esteem for the boy. But they never deny he can drive.
As things are wont to do in a heist, there comes a point where it all goes wrong. And though Baby Driver is fun from the word go, the joy of the film shifts into a higher gear each time Baby and his ill-intentioned pals run into a problem. There are epic chases, clashes of egos, action set pieces and lots and lots of thumpin’ tunes.
When you get right down to it, there isn’t a lot that must be said about Baby Driver. I could praise the whip smart dialogue or Elgort’s cool swagger. I could marvel over the way the supporting cast gives everything they have or gush about the cinematography. I could do all of things. But I don’t need to. Here’s the bottom line with Baby Driver: you are going to have a hoot-and-a-half watching this movie. There’s nothing else like it in theaters, and there hasn’t been for a long time. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.