[Moving picture of popcorn]

Laramie Movie Scope: Baby Driver

A sizzling crime action drama with a twist

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

July 1, 2017 -- The man behind “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead” has come up with another dandy action film with a comic twist, but more subtle, and not a parody this time, more of an homage. This is a cut above the standard crime action drama, but it also bears some of writer-director Edgar Wright's comic touches.

The scene that most closely bears Wright's comic touch is the one where a member of a criminal gang is sent out to get Michael Myers Halloween masks to be used in a robbery. Instead of getting the scary face masks like those used by the villain, Michael Myers in the film, “Halloween,” he comes back with masks of the actor Mike Myers (“The Spy Who Shagged Me”). There is another funny scene where a little wise guy kid outdoes Baby in casing the scene of a crime being planned.

Wright is a master of movie spoofs, but in order to be a master of spoofs, you also have to be a master of the genre you are spoofing. Wright proves that in this film, which is not a spoof, but a fine example of crime action genre films along the lines of “Heat,” “The Town” and “Hell or High Water.” This is an action film, and a romantic drama with some comic touches, and it is beautifully crafted. It will not be bloody or depressing enough for some, but I thought it hit the spot.

The quirky title character, Baby (played by Ansel Elgort of “Insurgent”) is a getaway driver savant, with an uncanny ability to evade police pursuit. Recruited as a getaway driver by criminal mastermind Doc (Kevin Spacey of the “House of Cards” TV series) Baby is trying to pay off his debt to Doc and get out of the getaway driver business. He falls in love with a pretty waitress, Debora (Lily James of “Cinderella”) and they plan to drive off into the sunset.

Just when Baby thinks he is free and clear from the criminals, they drag him back into the business for one last score, which goes horribly wrong. Baby ends up on the run from both the police and a very dangerous criminal, Buddy (Jon Hamm of “The Town”). Buddy and his wife, Darling (Eiza González of “Jem and the Holograms”) are a part of the gang, along with the scary stone cold killer Bats (Jamie Foxx of “Django Unchained”) working the armed robbery heist that goes wrong.

While the conclusion of this film is not believable, it is satisfying. The writing, directing and acting in this film is very strong, led by the performances of Elgort, Foxx and Hamm, which are very convincing. The character of Baby is unique, but I suspect he will return in a sequel, unless this film isn't successful enough at the box office to warrant a sequel. The action scenes are well staged. At any rate, this movie should propel Elgort and Wright into the upper levels of Hollywood power players. This film rates a B+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

[Strip of film rule]
Copyright © 2017 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
[Strip of film rule]
Back to the Laramie Movie Scope index.
[Rule made of Seventh Seal sillouettes]

Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)