The story revolves around a twentysomething named Baby (Ansel Elgort) who can basically do anything he wants in a vehicle, as long as he's got his tunes playing on his iPod. His plans are complicated by a crime boss, portrayed by Kevin Spacey, who coerces him to take part in a heist that's destined to fail.
Start to finish, the soundtrack-driven heist flick "Baby Driver" has a bright, infectious charm - and you can dance to it. Wright, the visionary behind "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and "Shaun of the Dead", made a decision to set much of the movie to music - not just in the sense of a traditional soundtrack, but in that the visuals of the film would exactly match the beats of the songs pumping through Baby's head. He makes music the heart and soul of both the film and Baby, putting the audience in his head even when he's not speaking. The film expands from 2,606 to 3,150 locations on Wednesday night.
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That's what Baby Driver director Edgar Wright told Uproxx when asked if he has seen Ant-Man, the 2015 Marvel film he helped develop, but ultimately chose not to direct. This is the song of the summer in movie form, a playful ode to vehicle chases, Motown, diners, that moment when you find the exact tune that matches your mood, driving stick, crime capers, '80s movies and love.
Edgar Wright has never met a film genre he couldn't transform. Then, in one long take, Wright puts Baby on the sidewalk, bopping along to "Harlem Shuffle", while the city scenes behind him deliver grace notes to the lyrics. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. With his flat affect, black shades and music-pumping earbuds (to drown out his trauma-induced tinnitus), Baby seems a bit like The Who's Tommy, only he's a wizard with a wheel and a hand brake.
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As for the other cast members, they each play the role they have to play. I'd be completely fine if "Baby Driver" didn't have any dialogue at all. As Baby Driver progresses, with Queen, Young MC, Martha Reeves and the Vandellasand Simon & Garfunkel reverberating in Baby's ears and on the soundtrack, this one-of-a-kind filmmaker leaves his indelible stamp on every frame.
Even Debbie - who is only ever shown out with Baby or working as a waitress at a diner - is never really developed outside of "wanting to get away" from her current life. The fun gets going with a pre-credits bank job in which it's established that Baby times his work as a getaway driver to the songs he constantly listens to on his iPod.
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