Baby Driver


            This is a fun movie to watch.  The sound track is great, and the main character, Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a tremendously-skilled car driver who owes a debt to a crook, Doc (Kevin Spacey).  Doc sets up heists, using a different crew each time, but his driver is always Baby, who's not a violent guy.  His parents were killed in a car wreck when he was a little boy, and he was raised by a deaf foster Dad, whom he now cares for, in a small apartment somewhere in the city of Atlanta.

            Doc says that after one more job, Baby will have paid off his debt, but then when that job's over, Doc still wants Baby to be his driver, because he's so good at it.  Baby's all concentration when he drives.  He suffers from tinnitus, which he contracted after that crash that was fatal to his parents.  He listens to music in order to drown out the ringing in his ears, but it's more than that.  The music represents a certain rhythm to him, a beat to follow, a tune to move him, and a riff to engage him.  He feels the music, and we start feeling it with him (partly because of the cleverly choreographed score from Writer and Director Edgar Wright).

            Baby's not a bad guy, but all this time with the rugged element has made him long for the open road and a beautiful girl.  Enter Debora (Lily James), a waitress at a diner where his Mother used to work.  Debora has music within her, as well---she walks into work singing---Baby is drawn to her, even though he's afraid that his shyness will mean she won't be interested in him.  But she sees something in him that up to now only his foster Dad saw—-a good heart.  And he wants to be the kind of man she envisions, but circumstances continue to intervene.

            Will our star-crossed lovers ever get a chance to ride away together into the sunset?  Will the sweet-faced Baby ever rid himself of entanglements with unsavory elements?  And which song will be “the blast from the past” that makes us want to hop behind the wheel and just hit the open road in cadence to its alluring siren call?


Questions for Discussion:

1)                  What's your favorite road trip song?

2)                  Have you ever fallen in love with someone you barely know?

3)                  Can the crooked ways be made straight?


Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, DFW Film Critics Association