"High-Octane Thrill Ride"
What You Need To Know:
BABY DRIVER contains several crazy car chase scenes and lots of jeopardy. The movie also has some surprising plot developments along the way, but the loud musical soundtrack sometimes overwhelms the car chases and several gunfight scenes. The movie also contains a lot of foul language and some extreme violence. The protagonist tries to protect the ones he loves, but he gets off a little too easy in the end. Ultimately, all this gives BABY DRIVER a Romantic, lawless worldview, which makes it a questionable choice for media-wise entertainment.
(RoRo, FR, B, LLL, VVV, A, DD, MM) Strong Romantic worldview with some antinomian or lawless elements about a young orphaned car thief with a baby face, who’s being extorted to be a getaway driver by a rich thief and criminal mastermind, with some minor moral elements where the protagonist tries to protect his loved ones from the mastermind and his psychotic, violent cohorts; at least 74 obscenities (including many “f” words), 10 strong profanities, and one light profanity; some very strong violence with some blood and lots of strong violence includes heavy gunfight between criminals and a team of crooked cops, man deliberately drives car into pole sticking out from a truck to kill man, heavy gunfight between two heavily armed criminals and real police, girl’s life threatened, gunfight between criminal in one car and a heroic citizen in another car, man hit by speeding car, girl hits man with crowbar, man deliberately shoots another man, who threatens him with a gun, several car chases with cars ramming other cars, man falls to his death, car explodes, man sees armored car guard’s body with blood coming from him; no sex, but some kissing; no nudity; brief alcohol use; brief smoking, and it’s implied a criminal couple uses their stolen loot to party with drugs; and, bank heists, armored car robbery, stealing, running away from the police, extortion.
BABY DRIVER is a high-octane thrill ride about a young orphaned car thief with a baby face, who’s being forced by a wealthy criminal mastermind into driving getaway cars for him. BABY DRIVER is full of surprises, and the young protagonist tries to protect his loved ones from the nasty criminals he’s forced to serve, but the movie contains some extreme violence, lots of strong foul language and a Romantic, lawless worldview where the protagonist gets off a little too easy at the end.
The movie opens with a bank heist in Atlanta where the young getaway driver and his cohorts barely get away with stealing about $250,000. They meet the mastermind behind their heist, a rich thief nicknamed Doc, behind their heist at his secret lair. Everyone calls the young getaway driver “Baby,” but no one really knows why, not even Doc, though it may be because of his baby, innocent looking face.
As the movie soon explains, Baby constantly listens to music on various iPods in his pockets because he was left with a persistent ringing in his ears due to a terrible accident as a child. Baby also has a couple small scars on his face from the accident. The accident was caused when his parents were arguing, and his mother accidentally rammed their car into a truck. Baby survived and now lives with a deaf black man, his foster parent. Doc is forcing Baby to drive his getaway cars because Baby stole his fancy car, so Doc takes money out of Baby’s cut until Baby pays Doc back.
The next heist is supposed to be Baby’s last one for Doc. He plans to quit when it’s completed.
While he’s waiting for Doc to contact him for the next heist, Baby meets and falls in love with the main waitress at a diner Baby likes to visit, a girl named Debora. Debora hates her job, so Baby hopes to run away with her to leave his life of crime behind. Baby has promised his foster father, however, that he’ll never let anything bad happen to him.
Baby gets Doc’s call for the next heist, but Doc has hired a hardened ex-con with an itchy trigger finger, nicknamed Bats, who doesn’t trust Baby. Bats almost ruins the armored car heist planned by Doc when he turns violent during the crime. Baby’s expert driving helps them make a clean getaway, however. He’s glad, though, that the heist will be his last one for Doc; or, so he thinks.
Of course, Doc has no intention of letting his best getaway driver leave his employ. You’re my “lucky charm,” he tells Baby as he threatens to cripple Baby if he doesn’t join the new heist. Regrettably, Doc has hired Bats again. So, when the new heist goes sideways because of him, Baby must run for his life, not only to save himself but also to save Debora and his foster father.
BABY DRIVER contains several crazy car chase scenes and lots of jeopardy. Though it also has some surprising plot developments along the way, the loud musical soundtrack sometimes overwhelms the car chases and several gunfight scenes. The movie also contains a lot of foul language and some extreme violence.
Kevin Spacey effectively plays the menacing criminal mastermind, Doc. His character is ruthless, but he also clearly sympathizes with Baby, even though he threatens him. Apparently, Doc is named in honor of the tough protagonist in Jim Thompson’s crime novel THE GETAWAY, which Steve McQueen filmed in 1972 with iconic action director Sam Peckinpah.
Jamie Foxx plays Bats, the villain you love to hate in BABY DRIVER. Foxx is really good in this role, as are Jon Hamm and Eiza González, who play two criminal lovers with a penchant for drugs and gambling who don’t mind pulling out the artillery when the need arises. Deaf actor CJ Jones does a really nice turn as Baby’s deaf foster father.
Ansel Elgort (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and DIVERGENT) gets a chance to show his versatility as the title character in BABY DRIVER (whose title comes from a funky song by Simon and Garfunkle in their heyday). Elgort turns in an appealing performance, as does Lily James (CINDERELLA) as the sweet-natured love interest.
BABY DRIVER is liable to be a hit among young moviegoers, but its R-rated foul language and more violent scenes will limit its audience. Also, it has a strong Romantic, lawless worldview. Even though the protagonist is being physically threatened to join Doc’s criminal associates, he has to do some violent things to defend himself. Also, he’s an accessory to the violent crimes Doc and his cohorts do, even though his participation was under duress. So, although he clearly tries to protect his foster father and his new girlfriend, in the end he gets off a little too easy. Ultimately, all this makes BABY DRIVER a questionable choice for media-wise viewers.