By Travis J. Klemann
A killer soundtrack combined with captivating car chases and astounding action makes for one fantastic film from director Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz). Break out the bell-bottoms and buckle up for 113 minutes of exhilarating excitement!
This cool crime story takes place in Atlanta, Georgia where Baby [yes, B-A-B-Y, Baby] acts as a getaway driver for local kingpin Doc (Kevin Spacey). The crew may alternate but the driver is always the same as Baby (Ansel Elgort) has a debt he owes to Doc after boosting his car years ago. The car accident that took the lives of his parents left him with tinnitus which he drowns out the "hum in his drum" by listening to various iPods he's accumulated containing his mother's favorite songs.
Despite working with shady criminals to pay off a debt along with his cut, Baby is a kind and gentle young man who takes care of his deaf foster father, Joseph (CJ Jones), in their small apartment. He soon meets Debora (Lily James) at the diner she works at as a waitress and decides to leave the life of crime as his debt to Doc is paid off. But of course, a life of crime isn't easy to leave as Doc threatens to hurt the two people Baby loves if he doesn't cooperate.
Complications arise the night before the "big heist" as the homicidal Bats (Jamie Foxx) kills a group of illegal arms dealers, believing them to be police officers. Against Doc's better judgment, Baby convinces him to go through with the heist involving Bats along with the married couple of Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eiza González). Early in the morning, Baby attempts to slip away but is stopped by Buddy and Bats, who happened to discover his voice recorder. Accusations of him being an informant are quickly dispelled after listening to one of Baby's mixes.
In the aftermath of the heist, Bats and Darling have both been killed which leads to Buddy being hell-bent on revenge, placing the blame solely on Baby. He ends up at the diner moments before Baby arrives, focused on taking the life of the woman he loves, basically an eye-for-an-eye situation. After shooting Buddy in the diner, true love persuades Doc to give Baby and Debora enough money to start a new life.
Doc proceeds to get into a shootout with cops from the botched arms deal only to be hit by a police car driven by Buddy. The cat-and-mouse game in the parking garage comes to a conclusion with Buddy letting off gunshots near Baby's ear in order to deafen him. Mere seconds later, Buddy is disarmed by a crowbar-wielding Debora followed by a critical shot in the leg by Baby which sends him falling to a fiery death.
While trying to flee for their road trip, Baby and Debora are stopped by a police roadblock. Rather than drag her into his life of crime, Baby surrenders to the police to face the consequences of his actions. Despite positive testimonies from those closest to him and witnesses, Baby is sentenced to 25 years in prison, with a parole hearing after five. Postcard messages from Debora reveal his name to actually be Miles. When Baby is finally released, Debora is shown waiting for him, clearly ready for that long-awaited journey of just them, their music and the road.
Without a doubt, this was one of the absolute best movies to be released in 2017. Top Ten list, easily. It perfectly combined action, drama, a sweet soundtrack and a little bit of comedy as well. If you're a fan of music, fast cars and superb story-telling, then you must check out this film.
5/5 Stars - Extremely Recommended
PS: As a MARVEL fan, I feel compelled to mention that Netflix's version of The Punisher, Jon Bernthal, makes a brief appearance as Griff during the bank heist. Also, there's a hilarious scene during an armored truck heist involving a mask mix-up with JD (Lanny Joon) and Eddie No-Nose (Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers) as part of the revolving-door crew.