The reving of engines and thumping of a sound track are staples of the action genre. However, by the end of Baby Driver they might as well have been nails on a chalkboard, as Edgar Wright’s newest film is a cacophony of images and sounds painted onto a very thin plot.
Baby Driver tells the story of a driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) who is under the employ of a man named Doc, who runs a series of heists across Atlanta. The teams are always different, and are played with various levels of panache by Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, and Eiza Gonzalez, but one thing’s certain, Baby will drive them out of any scrape. Nearing the end of his contract, Baby forms an attachment to Debora (Lily James) which complicates things as jobs start to go awry and Baby has to perform one final trick to try and get to the life he wants to lead.
More than anything, Baby Driver presents not a maturation in style and filmmking, but an oversaturation of it. Wright is throwing everything at you in Baby Driver, and at a near unberable volume that might make Michael Bay jealous. Edgar Wright, to his credit, is using the sensory overload to mirror what it’s partially hearing disabled character Baby is going through. In terms of form meeting function, I thought that Wright was on the cusp of doing something interesting and executing it to the highest ability. However, much of the movie felt unsettled, it’s pieces unmeshed, and by the end of the film I felt much more adrift than I should have.
The one saving grace of this film is the supporting cast. The oddball heisters might not always gel together but they each represent amazing caricatures of people and the actors commit. Rising above are Hamm and Spacey, each with a juicy scenery chewing role that proves worthy of their talents.