Swanner: Ansel Elgort plays Baby, a getaway driver for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), who’s trying to save himself from what looks to be a doomed heist. Baby holds the soundtrack of the film cleverly in his iPod, forced to listen to music to battle his tinnitus, a condition where you hear a constant ringing or buzzing in your ears. Baby Driver rolls in as a unexpected surprise during this drought of a summer movie landscape.
Judd: The movie is written and directed by Edgar Wright, who’s famous for his “Cornetto Trilogy” Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End. While Baby Driver pays homage to the troubled youth movies of the 50’s, with Elgort’s smoldering pout fitting right in with Brando, Dean, and Newman, the movie tells a very familiar story in completely new, and original way. All of this is supported by an amazing cast which also includes Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Eiza Gonzalez, and Lily James.
Swanner: As I mentioned before, the soundtrack comes from Baby’s iPod and it’s filled with a lot of great music. I love the way he scores the robberies to the second. It’s really hard to describe how unique this element of the film is but it’s just one of the many cool aspects that comes from Wright’s brilliant, and may I say, Oscar worthy script.
Judd: Not only does Baby drive with a soundtrack, the action sequences, down to dialogue and sound effects, are also choreographed to the music. We’ve all become accustom to music swelling during a dramatic speech, or the soundtrack reaching fortissimo during an explosion, but when raindrops and gunshots are timed to the beat of the music, it becomes something much more tangible. Beyond the music, which features fantastic deep tracks, the action sequences are also brilliant. The driving scenes are fast paced and realistic, reminding me of movies like Drive or Bullitt.
Swanner: I also loved that Wright gave all the characters life. Every one of them is there for a reason and has something to say. Jon Bernthal sets the tone early on how bad the bad guys can be with Spacey, Hamm, Gonzalez and Foxx all playing bad, in a different shade of bad. It was nice seeing Paul Williams in the role of The Butcher. It’s a small role, but he made it memorable with a terrific monologue that I’m sure will be used in theater classes for years. Baby Driver speeds to the top of the list of what films to see this summer.
Swanner: 4 stars
Judd: 4 stars