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The Reel Dish

Buckle up for 'Baby Driver'

  • 2 min to read

Ladies and gentlemen the summer’s thrill ride is here.

Fast cars, elaborate heists, a killer soundtrack and a star-studded cast drive “Baby Driver” to the top of the must-see summer movies list of 2017. An original plot and clever cinematography push this fun film into rare status as an instant classic.

Ansel Elgort plays the titular role of Baby, a driving wunderkind, who toils in a life of crime as the designated getaway driver for various robberies. He works for Doc (played by Kevin Spacey), who is some sort of well-connected criminal mastermind shrouded in mystery.

Baby is no ordinary speedster. He’s remarkably young and socially awkward — constantly listening to music and rarely interacting with those around him. It’s revealed Baby had a traumatic experience as a child and he’s listened to music ever since to help drown out the memories. His fascination and love for music provides audience members a unique way to connect to Baby as we get to hear what he’s listening to and feel what mood he’s in based on his music selection. Whether he’s cranking up the Queen to get hyped for a job, or relaxing at the end of the day with some smooth jazz, Baby is always jamming to tunes.

And that’s what makes “Baby Driver” so fun. Equal parts toe-tapping and heart pounding — it creates a brilliant juxtaposition of styles I’ve never experienced in a film. Easily recognizable tunes from several decades accompany a film with an exciting and nerve-wracking plot. It’s unique, which is rare in films these days.

The film is also assisted by its big-name actors who star in the film. Elgort and Spacey are joined on screen by Golden Globe winner Jon Hamm and Oscar Winner Jamie Foxx. Hamm plays Buddy and Foxx plays Bats, both crooks who Baby helps drive to escape the police.

Foxx in particular is a pleasure to watch as always. His character Bats has several bats in the belfry and kills for fun. He tells Buddy at one point in the film most people have a drug problem and they resort to stealing to supplement the addiction. Bats tells Buddy he is different, he has an addiction to theft and does drugs to cope — he’s a criminal through and through. Foxx plays the role so well, eccentric and crazy and scary — all at the same time — he turns Bats into a phenomenal supporting cast member.

Baby’s life of crime hits a speed bump when he meets Debora (Lily James) — a waitress at a local diner who he falls head over heels for. His priorities change as he realizes crime won’t allow for the pair to live safely together as long as he keeps the company he does.

But getting out of the lifestyle can be tricky.

Baby must work to toe the line between Debora and his career. Can he outrun (or outdrive) his criminal past and make a clean getaway into civilian life? Will Doc, Bats and Buddy drag him down in the process? How fast can Baby go?

Well, it’s safe to say nobody parks Baby in a corner.

When faced with the difficulties of his future, Baby does what he does best and cranks up the music and starts driving. His journey is exhilarating and worth every penny to go watch him on his adventure.

“Baby Driver” is one heck of a ride and it’s one you’d best buckle up for.

Contact David Dishman by email at ddishman@mcalesternews.com.