last updated: 8 December 2019 (approximate reading time: 2 minutes; 355 words)
At first glance, Baby Driver is an everyday caper movie. But dig a little deeper and it’s a movie worth watching…and watching again.
You’d never call the movie highbrow, but it’s a lot of fun, there are some strong performances, and on the whole the story is believable (or, at least, believable enough).
Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver.
Having stolen the wrong car, Baby find himself indebted to a crime boss, Doc (played by Kevin Spacey). The debt paid, Doc pulls Baby back for one last job…one last job which, of course, goes wrong and puts all that Baby cares for at risk.
Baby and his girlfriend, Debora (Lily James), then need to escape from the law and from Baby’s fellow criminals.
What Makes Baby Driver Different?
So far, so much like every other caper movie… However, there are some really good reasons to watch Baby Driver.
First off, it’s a good story, well executed, told with a light touch, and with a sprinkling of humor. The central performances—from Elgort and Spacey—are particularly strong.
But, if you haven’t already seen the movie, perhaps the main reason to give it a look is the choreography. While it may be a caper movie, it’s also (if you squint) a musical. The soundtrack is an integral part of the movie and much of the action—particularly the car chases—are choreographed to the music.
The Coffee Run
If you want to see the choreography, have a look at the coffee run scene. Listen to the lyrics and note how Baby moves.
The entire scene is a single tracking shot. Watch how the action and the background is synched to the music. Here are a few examples (with timing in minutes:seconds)
- 0:15 “move” and Baby starts moving
- 0:25 “move to the right” Baby turns right, and also note the graffiti
- 0:39 “soul” on the streetlight (there are lots of lyrical examples, looks at the posters, stickers, and graffiti)
- 0:50 Baby shields his eyes to mirror the mural
- 1:02 Baby mimes playing the trumpet
There’s a lot more to the movie. Go and check it out.