Printable Version Printable Version


07/07/2017 | Comments

NEW YORK. Stylish and energetic, the high-octane crime drama “Baby Driver” (R, TriStar) blends pop music, dizzying car chases and some dark humor to impressive effect.

While the film’s basic values are sound, however, late plot developments involve a quantity of bloodletting that will seem excessive to many moviegoers.

Ansel Elgort plays the title character, who prefers the moniker Baby to his real name. An otherwise decent young man, Baby is being forced to serve as the getaway driver in a series of bank robberies to pay off a debt he incurred to callous mobster Doc (Kevin Spacey).

This brings him into contact and collaboration with a series of lowlifes, including Wall Street executive-turned-thief Buddy (Jon Hamm), Buddy’s moll Darling (Eiza Gonzalez) and aptly nicknamed psychopath Bats (Jamie Foxx). The better part of Baby’s nature, meanwhile, is expressed in the care he gives his deaf and ailing foster father, Joe (CJ Jones), and in his romance with sprightly diner waitress Debora (Lily James).

Writer-director Edgar Wright earns his paycheck with a production carefully choreographed down to the last gesture, and there’s an amiable and appealing spirit to most of the proceedings. Elgort invites strong sympathy for the orphaned, often silent Baby.

While it can be argued that Wright tries to have it both ways, ethically speaking, a reckoning does eventually arrive, and crime is ultimately punished. Baby and Debora’s relationship, moreover, remains chaste, with nothing more than kisses being exchanged.

Yet, as things begin to wind up, Wright aims for shock value by having some of his bad guys meet spectacular, brutal deaths. This considerably circumscribes the audience for which “Baby Driver” can be endorsed. Forewarned grownups, however, may enjoy taking it for a spin.

The film contains momentary but intense gory violence along with much gunplay, several uses of profanity and frequent rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling.

About Disqus Comments

Our Disqus commenting system requires Internet Explorer 8 or newer. Also works with Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera.

An account with Disqus is not required if you post as a guest, but a name and Email address must be entered in the appropriate boxes. These DO NOT have to be your actual name and email address.

  1. Click the "Start the Discusson" field
  2. Click the "Name" field and enter it.
  3. Check the "I'd rather post as a guest" box.
  4. Click the Email field and enter it.

Comments may not show immediately. Moderator reserves the right to remove offensive or irrelevant posts.

comments powered by Disqus