Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a music-obsessed teenage getaway driver in this crime-fuelled car caper directed by Edgar Wright. Oh, and it has one of the greatest movie soundtracks ever.
In the opening scene, Baby is beating the steering wheel in time to the music on his headphones whilst the three robbers he is chauffeuring are pulling off their heist. With the bank robbed and the police in hot pursuit, Baby puts the pedal to the metal and we are treated to one of the most thrilling and original car chase sequences I have seen in a long time.
Baby is indebted to criminal mastermind Doc (Kevin Spacey) after he stole one of his cars as a child. The getaway jobs are the way he is required to pay off his debts. Doc promises him one last job, then he is free to go. This leads Baby to risk reaching out to Debora (Lily James), a waitress at a local diner, and a gentle, almost old-fashioned romance starts to take root.
But Doc does not allow Baby to leave as easily as that, with serious implications for Baby’s old life and his tentative new one. They crash into each other with a violent energy that drives the story forward.
And this is the genius of the film. Edgar Wright delivers a whole range of movie standards; a young romance, a crime boss, car chases, bank heists and a posse of confirmed psychopaths who deliver a real edge of menace and then plays around with them. We think we know where we’re going, but with the deftness of a getaway driver taking a hidden exit, we’re off somewhere completely different.
Baby Driver is a film that plays with story and makes sure the audience has fun along the way. You’re constantly left guessing as to what might happen next. It’s also gloriously cinematic (a scene in which Baby goes out to buy coffees is a joy to watch).
All in all, a summer movie with plenty of brio and style.