Riding in cars with Ansel Elgort
I love Ansel Elgort.
Ever since “The Fault In Our Stars” I have been a huge fan, so when the movie “Baby Driver” came out, I knew I had to see it.
“Baby Driver” was directed by Edgar Wright, who has directed other movies like “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and “Ant-Man.” Those who have seen Wright’s movies know that he has a very unique perspective and style as a director. He also loves to incorporate music in his films and “Baby Driver” is no different. In fact, Wright’s incorporation of music throughout the film makes “Baby Driver” worth the watch.
Ansel Elgort’s character, Baby, is a getaway driver who works various robberies for Doc, played by Kevin Spacey. Doc pays Baby graciously after each deal and Baby uses it to support the deaf guardian he lives with.
After a traumatic experience as a child, Baby has a tick that he can only keep quiet when listening to music. He may have his headphones in at all times, but he is very aware of what is going on around him. His music helps him focus, and is what is used as the background music for almost the whole film.
Along with Ansel Elgort and Kevin Spacey, Wright has collected an all-star cast. Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jon Bernthal and Mexican actress Eiza Gonzalez are all different members of the crew Doc recruits for robberies. Sky Ferreira also makes an appearance, along with Lily James, who plays Baby’s love interest, Deborah.
Despite car chases, the plot start out slow. Wright leaves a lot of mystery throughout the film, like why Baby listens to music all of the time and why Baby is really working for Doc, to be discovered later. Towards the end of the movie, the plot seems to escalate very quickly.
About three-fourths into the movie, Foxx’s character, Bats, leads Doc’s team, including Baby, into a weapons deal that goes wrong. Bats seems to show complete disregard for authority or his other team members, which morphs his character into the antagonist of the film.
After that incident, there is increased tension within the group. Without unity, the team’s next robbery goes south and the film becomes a lot more violent and exciting. Each character begins to reveal their true “crazy” side.
Along with Bats’ actions, Baby and Deborah’s love story is a major driving force of the movie. They meet briefly at a diner and instantly fall in love. To escape his “job,” Baby often asks Deborah to run away with him. Deborah is later used as leverage, along with Baby’s guardian, to convince Baby to do one last job for Doc. Their love is so sweet and innocent, you genuinely want it to prevail in the end.
While the plot does pull you in, my favorite part of the film was Wright’s music choices and how the music was used in the film.
In 1995, Wright listened to the track “Bellbottoms” by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and perfectly imagined “a completely fleshed-out, fully loaded, car chase-filled action scene,” said Rolling Stone Magazine. “Bellbottoms” would eventually become the opening scene for “Baby Driver,” and Wright made his car chase dreams come to life.
Each song was specifically chosen for the movie. Wright took his time planning out each scene and each song. Music became a forefront of the movie, not only for the car chase scenes, but for scenes with Baby’s flashbacks, when he first meets Deborah, or scenes as simple as Baby walking down the street. Wright even went as far as staging a gunfight scene where the sound of the bullets match the beat of “Tequila,” covered by Button Down Brass.
As most movies, the music adds intensity to each scene. For “Baby Driver,” the music not only adds intensity, but brings the whole movie and Baby’s world to life.
The plot is unlike anything that I have personally seen. Although it seems like Wright is trying to shove a lot of plot into a small amount of movie towards the end, the high profile cast, the use of music, the unique plot and style and Ansel Elgort alone makes “Baby Driver” a must watch.