This is Ansel Elgort’s coming out party. He’s only 23, but he is THE star as “Baby” of this movie which is blessed with other big names like Kevin “House of Cards” Spacey, Jon “Mad Men” Hamm, Jon “Walking Dead” Bernthal, and Jamie “Oscar Winner” Foxx.
And here’s some of the names of the characters who make up the bank-robbing gang led by Doc: Buddy, Bats, Eddie No-Nose, JD, Griff, and Darling. And the super-skilled, tire-burning getaway driver is named Baby who perpetually wears dark sunglasses and ear buds so he can listen to music while Doc is explaining the details of the next big heist.
And this entertaining and amusing band of charming hoodlums is the product of writer/director Edgar Wright’s fertile imagination. Wright at 43, has already reach enough success to convince these big-dog actors to play along in his Taratinoesque light-hearted car chase and bang-bang film with lots of blood and complicated good guys who kill people without regret.
“Shaun of the Dead” in 2004 is probably Wright’s biggest jewel prior to “Baby Driver” but this cleverly-scripted movie and box office success will open many financial doors for this Brit. He and Ansel Elgort will forever be merged in their careers as this movie might reach cult level.
Elgort’s classic good looks and pleasant smile will serve this talented actor well as he will continue to get hunky parts for the lead male who isn’t afraid to show his emotions. The love story in this movie (of course Wright injected the forbidden love of two young, bright-eyed and misguided twenty-somethings) blossomed in the midst of a cops and robbers farce filled with automatic weapons and intrigue.
Biggest winner other than Wright and Elgort: Lily James as Debora the waitress who falls in love with Baby. For those of you keeping score, she was Lady Rose MacClare on “Downton Abbey.” And yes, Lily James was born in England in 1989.
“Baby Driver” has had some big buzz and anticipation; my film-critic friend Travis L. thinks “it’s the best movie of the year; so far.” I wouldn’t go that far, but this flick is enjoyable and ingenious. Bravo Edgar Wright! Rock ‘n Roll.
Grade 90. Larry H.