Baby Driver is a fun heist flick that doesn’t take itself too seriously, until it takes it self very seriously. The story is about as bare bones as you can get with a few Edgar Wright twists to keep things interesting. A guy who happens to be the best getaway driver in town is one job away from getting straight with the local crime boss. But he’s not really a criminal, not where it counts anyway. So does he skip town with his girl before the last job or ride one more time into glory?
The funny, fast and intelligent dialogue that you come to expect from Wright is here in flashed but gets lost amongst a lot of jokes that don’t land or parts that are overly. The cast as a whole is spot on, but I could have done with a little more charisma from Ansel Elgort as the titular “Baby”. Kevin Spacey is really chewing the scenery as the mob boss.
Along with the incredibly shot chase sequences, the story leaves a lot to the imagination. In a good way. We really don’t know much about Spacey’s criminal enterprise or how he got so good at planning out heists. For Baby’s story it really doesn’t matter and leaving the viewers in the dark a bit lets you fill in the blanks in a satisfying way.
The universal praise for this movie is on a whole, unearned. It’s a great entry is the heists genre but it doesn’t elevate beyond that. Go in with your expectations tempered and you’ll have a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Rating: ***1/2 Runtime: 1h 53m Starring: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey and Jon Hamm
by Christopher Moore
This post first appeared on http://screeningclub.com/2017/07/03/review-baby-driver/ on ScreeningClub.com.