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Review: Baby Driver

Review: Baby Driver

Written by James Deshommes


The love affair between driving and the tunes we rock to when operating our beloved vehicles have been around for a long time. Many movies of the past and the present have displayed this timeless tale over and over again in some of the most memorable movies. Now you can easily add Baby Driver to this lovable pastime. Baby Driver is written and directed by Edgar Wright who most of us know from his work on Hot Fuzz and his heavily influenced Ant-Man which he publicly stepped down from because of studio artistic differences, but nevertheless still got partial credit for his Superhero insect vision. Besides making movies, Edgar Wright has a passion for music. This project has been in the works for years, in Edgar’s mind at least. He has stated he always sees specific scenes in his films or others and immediately inserts a song in his head to pair with an action sequence or a full on soundtrack to stamp on a movie he had just witnessed. Having an entire film dedicated to his passion was inevitable and the results are amazing.

Baby Driver has a great cast to see Edgar’s vision all the way through. From the likes of Kevin Spacey to Jamie Foxx, not to mention Jon Hamm, and the main protagonist, or in this case the main Chauffeur/DJ, Ansel Elgort playing the role of Baby. The movie’s premise is your classic heist job, but of course, the one at the end always goes astray from the plan. Not to give much of the plot away, but our driver Baby, who helps Doc’s, played by Kevin Spacey, goon squad get away with his Fast and oh so Furious driving all the while cranking tunes that will have the most knowledgeable music lover in your life envious, has a continuous conflict of mixing his passion for cars and music with robbery and murder. All the chaos comes crashing at an intersection towards the ending of the movie. (Way too many traffic references…YES!, but I couldn’t help it.)

Doc’s interchangeable who’s who of criminal partners begin to question Baby’s lack of attention when going over the plans of the heists. Griff, played by Jon Bernthal, digs into Baby to see why he is the way he is. Later on, in the movie Bats, played by Jamie Foxx, becomes perplexed by Baby’s lack of focus under the same scenario and suggests Baby is not the right person for the job. Baby, being Baby, repeats Doc word for word and put any doubts from the team to rest.

Baby has an eclectic taste in music and shows Millennials can appreciate music generated in the 60’s and 70’s without not making a big deal of it. The Commodores “Easy”, Barry White’s “ Never Never Gonna Give Ya Up” and Queen’s “Brighton Rock” are a few of the notable mentions from Baby’s playlist.

Like every likable protagonist, Baby has people in his life he cares about. Which means Doc has a way to keep Baby in line in case he decides to take a major U turn from the shady crime business he finds himself in. All this plays out as you would expect, but each gun shot and punch match in sync with the beat of choice in the movies excellent soundtrack. This no doubt took some time, but it is something like you haven’t seen before or at least done so well and that makes this film unlike any other out there. There is a scene early in the movie where the sounds of the windshield wipers match the rhythm of a song to a tee and from then on Edgar has your music ears ready to vibe with him.

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Baby’s passion didn’t appear out of anywhere, as a kid one of his greatest and fondest memories is when he got his first iPod as we can all relate to that magical awe inspiring moment. From then on music has been his right-hand companion for everything that has some meaning to his life. As with everything music can bring about the best of moments in life and it can remind us of hardships, breakups, a person, a specific event or death. In Baby’s case his mother being a singer and the one music tape that really has any significance and true value is of her singing on it and flashbacks of Baby deep in the throngs of his iPod bliss replaying the horrific car accident that occurred while he was in the car that took his mother’s life away is that nightmare he conjures up throughout the film. This is the same accident that also partially impaired Baby’s ear drums and left him with a continuous buzzing sound in his ear which he attempts to drown out with one of his many iPods, one for each occasion or mood….which is normal right?! So he took what was just the worst day of his life and turned that into a passion of his which he becomes increasingly good at and one that proves to be lucrative.

The reason why this movie is so special and why critics and moviegoers adored it is not because it was just another great Edgar Wright film, but more so because how we can all relate to drowning out the world with just a basic music app, or even an MP3 player if you still rock one and a decent pair of ear buds. You will find it almost impossible to not see someone blasting their favorite playlists and walking to the beat of their own drum or even driving while in music Utopia. Music is indeed therapy and it helps us feel better whether it be our current atmosphere, our mood, or that treacherous workout that deserves the very best upbeat EDM sound to keep us on the path of hitting our goal.

As I sit to write down this article I needed some Frank Ocean and Lana Del Rey to help me hit the right grammatical notes. You will see a scene in the movie when Baby has to start a track of a song over because the timing of the start of a particular heist job was off a bit. I’m guilty of that when gaming and I have Spotify playing in the background on my PS4 and I get destroyed by an alien convoy on Resogun and have to restart the song and level…weird but I’m not alone in saying that.

So I urge all my music heads who love movies, music, driving, Edgar Wright, or all of the aforementioned to head to the theaters and have your ears be prepared by a killer playlist that will have you grateful for the amazing gift of sounds and to music. Plus if you want to add yet another awesome playlist to your already populated music app, you can download the Baby Driver playlist now…you won’t hate me for it.

James Deshommes Twitter: @JadesJa

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