The band Spacemen 3 once titled an album "Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To".
There's nothing like slowing down and enjoying a casual night at the movies, particularly when the film is as high-energy as Baby Driver.
It's a syncopated crime thriller, its action cut nearly entirely to the beats of the northern soul classics and newer hip-hop playing in the earbuds of its hero.
The hero of Wright's funky tough-guy fantasy is Baby (Ansel Elgort of "The Fault in Our Stars"), a kid (he's maybe 19) who, as the film begins, has two loves: driving and music.
Sony's Baby Driver, the SXSW sensation that aims to be the cool ride of the summer for moviegoers with the need for speed and iTunes at any cost, has much to recommend it. Director-writer Edgar Wright delivers here in style that goes on for days and should have fans dribbling. The gimmick here is so good that I actually wanted more of it: "more killer tracks, more death-defying car-eography, more chase scenes shot to look like renegade Uber commercials". Baby always listens to music on his iPod-even while behind the wheel and never not without a great pair of sunglasses-as a way to soundtrack his getaways and tune out the tinnitus in his ears, a condition he's grappled with since childhood.
Baby Driver crashes out of the gate with a pair of bravado scenes that showcase Baby's unique skills. During his break between heists he falls for a diner waitress, Debora (Lily James). But after being coerced into working for a crime boss, he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. With one last job, the twists and turns that take place after the addition of Bats (Jamie Foxx) puts Baby's world upside down with danger lurking in every corner.
Baby Driver is also, of course, an action thriller.
"There's just so much that he has to do and carry on his shoulders to make this film work and he does it with grace and what seems like effortless flare and it's really impressive to watch somebody that young do that well". That said, Baby Driver feels more accessible and has a lot more fun with the premise.
Also making an appearance in Baby Driver, playing the character of Eddie No-Nose, is Michael "Flea" Balzary, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers bass player. Elgort is a pouty blank slate, and James, who's been a highlight of disposable Hollywood movies like Cinderella and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, plays more of a symbol than an actual character.
Wright can cite everything from Gun Crazy to The Transporter in his action scenes while still putting his own stamp on the material. John Hamm and Eiza Gonzalez sizzle on screen with their chemistry as Buddy and Darling. After settling his debt, Baby wants out of the criminal life and he wants to spend time with Debora (Lilly James), a attractive waitress he recently met.