Baby Driver’s soundtrack provides two hour getaway

Gail Finch

I’m not really a fan of action movies. I’ve never really liked the explosions and loud surround sound screeching of tires on pavement and bullets shooting through glass, or the cruelty of the antagonist in a cliche situation in which the female lead is taken hostage. Over the summer I saw a movie that was an exception to that. Baby Driver is a crime-action film from director Edgar Wright who also brought the world movies like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World adaptation.

The story is about a young man that goes by the moniker Baby (Ansel Elgort), who lives with his deaf, wheelchair-bound guardian named Joseph (CJ Jones). He is also the getaway driver for Doc (Kevin Spacey), a man whose car he stole when he was young (hence the name Baby) and now works to pay off his debt. Baby meets a girl named Debora (Lily James) at a diner he stopped at for a cup of coffee and is immediately intrigued by her. After getting to know her, he has even more reason to quit his forced life of crime in order to lead a normal life.

The casting for this movie was done rather nicely. I like how diverse the cast is, even if a majority of the characters aren’t on screen for more than a few minutes at a time and are usually dead within those few minutes. Ansel Elgort does a good job at what he does best, being the pretty boy with a heart of gold despite his circumstances and tragic back story. Kevin Spacey basically just plays Kevin Spacey but with a different name, and he couldn’t be more fitting for a crime leader role. Jamie Foxx, plays a really good bad guy when he needs to, portraying the rather disturbed character of Bats who serves as an antagonist within the second act of the movie. CJ Jones, the man who plays Baby’s deaf and paralyzed guardian, is actually deaf and I find it quite nice that they cast him. There aren’t many roles for people with disabilities, and to see that they casted someone who is deaf to play the role instead of having an actor learn sign language for it gives me hope for the entertainment industry.

The soundtrack plays a crucial role in Baby’s character. Baby developed tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ears, after a devastating car crash that killed his mother, so he’s constantly playing music. He has several different devices to play music depending on his mood, like an iPod touch with a Queen playlist or a generic MP3 player full of ‘80s funk. He also likes to make remixes out of things he recorded on his personal recorder, keeping them on cassette tapes in a personal stash. The score of this movie was used wisely unlike some movies who seemingly use their budget on nothing but royalties to songs to play over a random scene. The use of the soundtrack was expertly executed in that there were scenes in which a song would be unexpected to be in the scene, but it oddly worked. It didn’t take me away from the scene like some other movie music does, and I wish more movies would incorporate sound and music the way Baby Driver did.

Baby Driver is a good movie for action fans, as well as fans of classic rock and funk because of how the two elements correlate and overlap with one another. It’s fun, it’s heart-wrenching, it makes viewers wanna tap their feet, and it puts them on the edge of their seats. I highly recommend you watch this movie, but sadly, it won’t be on DVD for a while, though it is available for pre-order on YouTube movies and Amazon Prime streaming for $14.99.