DIRECTOR: Edgar Wright STARRING: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal PRODUCER: Nira Park, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner SCREENWRITER: Edgar Wright MUSIC: Steven Price CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bill Pope EDITOR: Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos GENRE: Action PRODUCTION COMPANY: Working Title Films, Big Talk Productions, Media Rights Capital DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Releasing COUNTRY: United Kingdom, United States LANGUAGE: English RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes
Technical assessment: 4
Moral assessment: 3
CINEMA rating: V18
MTRCB rating: R13
Baby (Ansel Ergot) works as a getaway car driver to pay off debts from criminal mastermind, Doc (Kevin Spacey). Doc assembles a different team for each robbery project, except for Baby whom he retains thinking that he’s his lucky charm. Baby is a highly skilled driver, an expert at car chases and escaping authorities. The secret of Baby is music—he always listens to music on an iPod—it is what inspires him and puts him on the mood, dictating his moves in driving-robbery operations. And music tells much of his past, present and future. Along the way he meets and falls for Deborah (Lily James) through music as well. Baby does not want to stay in the criminal activity for long—but after he pays off his debt, Doc won’t let go of him. How will Baby’s music play as Doc is out to control his decisions and his life?
Baby Driver is undeniably one stylish film treat rarely seen in its genre. The genius lies in the rhythmic combination of powerful music, calculated visuals and classical storytelling. Every sound, music, frame, scenes, and sequences are tightly knit and carefully planned, and each part of the film becomes both a visual treat and compelling story. The chase scenes are superb and the simple emotional scenes are infectious. It is full of style yet full of heart. The entire ensembles seem to be enjoying their part. Ergot is perfect for the part—his moves are effortless and his acting very natural. James as his love interest delivers a fine performance as well. In its totality, Baby Driver is a delight to watch—it’s a breath of fresh air from the usual chase movies audiences see about cars, gangsters, and sex. This film proves that art and pop culture can meet somewhere and come up with a tight feature that would make one believe in the power of music and love once again. The surprise ending delivers the movie’s message clearly.
Baby Driver shows the real dark side of the underworld in a different light. Amidst the darkness, there is one soul that yearns for goodness and peace. The film shows how the dark world can be very cruel, heartless and evil. It does not glorify criminals but it shows how one gets to be lost by circumstances beyond his control and free will. It is almost paradoxical that the lead talented driver cannot seem to drive his own life at first—but goodness of heart made him do so. He was able to muster courage to get out of his situation when love becomes stronger than fear. Justice is served in all respects in this film—whether through man’s court or the highest court. In situations where it seems evil is king, one is able to prove otherwise—even in one’s weakest moments, there would come a strong desire to fight for what is right. It is never easy and it would entail sacrifice. But then, faith in man’s innate goodness will prevail in the end—healing and change takes time but it will be worth the wait if one is looking forward to eternal happiness—made possible by the power of real love. The heavy theme on the criminal world, strong crass language, gory visuals and graphic violence and some sexual innuendos might be too emotionally gripping for the very young so CINEMA deems the film as appropriate only for mature audiences 18 and above.