Baby Driver

The Guardian Weekly - - Culture - Peter Brad­shaw

In 2011 a res­i­dent of Oak­land, Michi­gan, caused a sen­sa­tion by bring­ing a law­suit against Ni­co­las Wind­ing Refn’s film Drive for not hav­ing enough ac­tual pedal-to-the-metal driv­ing in it. That same per­son could hardly do the same to Edgar Wright, the di­rec­tor of this out­ra­geously en­joy­able petrol­head heist ca­per. The ti­tle of Baby Driver al­ludes to the ex­treme in­sou­ciant youth of its wheel­man hero, played by Ansel El­gort, and a cer­tain track that un­spools over the clos­ing cred­its. It is a ter­rif­i­cally stylish and ex­cit­ing piece of work.

El­gort plays a bril­liant teenage get­away driver work­ing for Kevin Spacey’s equally dead­pan Doc, a man who mas­ter­minds bank rob­beries with a

crew in­clud­ing the chis­elled Buddy (Jon Hamm), badass Dar­ling (Eiza González) and the scar­ily un­sta­ble Bats (Jamie Foxx). Baby needs con­tin­u­ous mu­sic from his range of an­tique iPods to give him in­spi­ra­tion, mim­ing along to the track while he chucks his car around in breath­tak­ing stunts. It’s also be­cause he suf­fers from tin­ni­tus and needs the mu­sic to drown out the noise.

Baby is a guy with un­happy mem­o­ries, re­vealed in flash­back mon­tages. He is not re­ally a crim­i­nal – his bril­liance at driv­ing and ob­ses­sion with mu­sic stem from an early-years trauma – and is be­ing forced by Doc to per­form these rob­beries. But then Baby meets and falls in love with a wait­ress at a diner where his late mother used to work, and this is Deb­ora, win­ningly played by Lily James.

It’s such a funny and en­gag­ing film, packed with sheer brio and good na­ture. What a rush.

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