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Baby Driver: Adrenaline-pumping, music-driven action

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Kingpin – Doc, doesn’t use the same operatives twice except for ‘Baby’ (Ansel Elgort) whose skill behind the wheel would leave the ‘Fast & Furious’ team in the dust. Appearances deceive and much to the angst of the various crew members it seems as if Baby is only interested in the music on his iPod and not the details of the heists… how wrong they are proven to be! [I am certainly not going to give away any secrets – this is for you to discover for yourselves by popping down to the cinema – aw]

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, Jon Bernthall

I am one of those viewers who are initially attracted to a movie because of the cast members or director – this has, of course, led to disasters at times but, on the whole, my judgement has proven to be spot on! In this case the attraction was Kevin Spacey who has, to date, neither been typecast nor shown bad judgement when accepting a cinematic role. This time around he heads a crime syndicate which undertakes daring daytime bank heists.

As the kingpin – Doc, he doesn’t use the same operatives twice except for ‘Baby’ (Ansel Elgort) whose skill behind the wheel would leave the ‘Fast & Furious’ team in the dust. Appearances deceive and much to the angst of the various crew members it seems as if Baby is only interested in the music on his iPod and not the details of the heists… how wrong they are proven to be! [I am certainly not going to give away any secrets – this is for you to discover for yourselves by popping down to the cinema – aw]

Suffice to say, ‘Baby Driver’ has enough action to satisfy all those who enjoy fast-paced car chases, squealing tires and more.

“The movie is structured so it opens with the dream of being a getaway driver, and very quickly turns into the nightmare of being a criminal,” says Edgar Wright who penned the script and directed the movie.

[Extract from the production notes] ‘The Baby we meet at the beginning of the movie – hidden behind sunglasses, dialled in to his iPod playlist, then a hellion at the wheel – is like the greatest gang apprentice ever. “This kid’s a hotshot, but he’s also on the fringes of the gang,” says Wright. “He literally sits as far away from them as he can, because he really doesn’t want to be part of the group. He thinks, wrongly, that he can be a getaway driver but not be a criminal Like, ‘I’m just the courier. I don’t have anything to do with the bad stuff.’ The action scenes are kind of like Baby’s day job, and I think a lot of people that work in a job sometimes shield themselves in a different persona. Then when they’re home, they’re a different person.”

Allegedly for Edgar, ‘Baby Driver’ was a labour of love… he has successfully managed to combine music with fast-paced action resulting in an action movie with a ‘killer’ soundtrack – I really don’t know which I enjoyed more – the songs (often retro) or the action … ultimately, however, this seamless intertwining really works.

Director of photography – Bill Pope adds (in the production notes): “Edgar’s movies are always challenging. His movies are complex, especially this one in particular, where you don’t just have a bank robbery scene with gunfire and squibs and cops showing up on time and cars crashing. You have rain. You have lightning. And the kicker, it’s all set to music, so the windshield wipers act to tempo. People die to tempo. The gunfire is on the beat, and it’s all usually in one shot. And it’s daring to have all of that choreographed.”

Mmm, I hear you say… but, what about Kevin Spacey, if he was the reason for choosing to view the movie? It’s not so much about the actor – it’s about the scripts he chooses… each and every one is enticing whether it be ‘Pay it Forward’ (which left an indelible impression and has actually determined much of my mindset making me into a ‘giver’ rather than a ‘receiver’) or ‘House of Cards’ where he spins the communication playing one politician off the other Brilliant! [and that’s but two of his impressive repertoire].

I hope I have tantalised your viewing taste-buds enough for you to pick up the car keys and take a trip to the movies – it’s so much better on the BIG screen!

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