You might know the feeling: you’re walking along, ear buds in, enjoying a favourite song. Before long your pace is in time with the beat, and your surroundings start to feel in sync with the music. That’s the concept behind Baby Driver, told from the perspective of someone whose buds never leave his ears, and who’s less likely to be walking than driving away from a bank heist.
The idea isn’t totally fresh, but it’s realised with passion and attention to detail. Most scenes are choreographed to music but the effect is more subtle than gimmicky, receding into the background as the story takes hold.
And it’s a great story, if strangely old-fashioned. Writer/director Edgar Wright has had the idea in his head for twenty years, which feels apparent in a few Tarantino-esque moments. Luckily Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm are damn good at spouting tough-guy dialogue, and when it comes to snappy wordplay, Wright is as sharp as QT himself.
Plus, Ansel Elgort is charming as heck as Baby. He’s in way over his head, but he’s still a cocky little bastard.
The best thing about Baby Driver turns out to be its modest scale, favouring CGI-free action scenes filmed in broad daylight that feel downright refreshing. It also features a fantastic selection of songs courtesy of a director with an impeccable track record, who seems to enjoy seeing the world refracted through music as much as his main character.