Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Eiza González, Micah Howard, Lily James, Morgan Brown, Kevin Spacey, Morse Diggs, CJ Jones, Sky Ferreira, Lance Palmer, Hudson Meek, Viviana Chavez, Hal Whiteside, Flea, Lanny Joon, Jamie Foxx, Clay Donahue Fontenot.
The heist, a cinematic idea that has stood the test of time and sometimes patience, a theme that still produces a feeling of warmth for many to whom cinema is the true meaning of escapism, the expression of being part of against the system but not getting your hands dirty.
For Baby Driver, the heist is actually enjoyable, not least because of Edgar Wright’s involvement at the helm but also for the way the film utilises music to brilliant effect throughout, the realisation that sound can carry an experience more than we often give credit for and one that shows we don’t often need visual as much as we require and need the ability to listen without replying.
Baby Driver also brings out a different perspective in Jamie Foxx, an actor to whom can seem to hit and miss whenever he is on screen. Undoubtedly audiences want Mr. Foxx to succeed in any role that he undertakes, a fine performer, one to whom can exhibit sheer unbelievable presence and dominate the attention of any cinema goer with style and passion and yet for every Charles, every Django Unchained and Collateral there is waiting in the shadows and the wings, an Annie and a Sleepless.
Baby Driver hits home for the actor’s ability to make the viewer feel uncomfortable to be in his company, to feel the shame that goes along with the cinematic heist. A good robbery on the system is one that is as old as time, it pumps the heart beat and leaves the viewer conflicted to whom their allegiance lies, yet as soon as the element of personal destruction, of the wrath of the gun and the carnage takes place; the viewer is reminded just what is at stake. Mr. Foxx interprets this dichotomy superbly and his interaction with Jon Hamm, Ansel Elgort and Kevin Spacey is right on the money.
In Ansel Elgort’s portrayal of the young brilliant getaway driver blighted by Tinnitus and damaged by a devastating event, the film really gives the character true sympathy, it highlights the recklessness that we can place upon the young when they feel that life has cheated them and yet we marvel at their ability to utilise their gifts to force a reckoning between sides.
Bonnie and Clyde it isn’t, but then the 21st Century is a far removed prospect socially from the days of almost carefree abandon, there are repercussions that are so much more violent in their nature and it is one that explored superbly by Edgar Wright and the cast.
A very good cinematic experience, a truly pulse racing prospect, Baby Driver could be thought of as an unexpected hit.
Ian D. Hall