Sunday, July 2, 2017


Once I got over the fact that this movie didn't have anything to do with Jan Kerouac's book, BABY DRIVER, and went to check it out on its own terms, my first reaction to the opening was, nicely done, and then, who is this kid in the title role and is he up to the challenge and whoa, he sure as feck is.

Ansel Elgort seemed too soft and child/teen-actorish in appearance, at first, to convince me he could pull off the lead in the stellar cast, but he ends up giving one of the best performances of the year, I'd say, along with everyone else in the flick. Just one of the reasons to praise director/writer Edgar Wright.

An unlikely candidate to direct a more-or-less classic Hollywood heist flick, Wright proves the eye and ear for fast-paced writing, directing and editing that made him successful in his most famous gigs until this one—SHAUN OF THE DEAD, et. al.—have been honed to perfection and surpassed my expectations very satisfactorily.

John Hamm lives up to his name and still makes it work, Kevin Spacey actually surprised me, Jamie Foxx is great as always, but it's the kid, Elgort, and the always effervescent Lily James, along with lesser knowns (at least to me) Eiza Gonzales and CJ Jones (I thank the director for actually casting a deaf actor rather than a hearing one playing deaf), and a cameo by Flea as a thug with a fake nose, to name a few, that makes everything click into place perfectly.

BABY DRIVER is a great ride, with enough clever (in the best sense of that word, not the "kill your darlings" sense) details (for those who care, there are several famous folks in small roles, for instance) and unexpected twists to overcompensate for whatever might be predictably contrived about a Hollywood heist flick. Perfect movie escape on a hot summer day or night.

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