Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
Wild driving on public streets puts numerous lives in danger
Crime is not “cool.” It is evil.
“Psychopathic” sinners—selfish, egotistical, devoid of empathy for others, given to bold evil, illegal actions that destroy others, without remorse, unrepentant
Who was the world’s first murderer? Answer
How do I know what is RIGHT FROM WRONG? Answer
How can I decide whether a particular activity is WRONG? Answer
LUST—Learn what God’s Word says about it
the burden of living with TINNITUS and the practice masking it with loud music (which may work, but can make it worse)
Ansel Elgort … Baby
Jamie Foxx … Bats
Kevin Spacey … Doc
Jon Bernthal … Griff
Jon Hamm … Buddy
Lily James … Debora
Flea … Eddie
Eiza González … Darling
Micah Howard … Barista
Morgan Brown … Street Preacher
Morse Diggs … Morse Diggs
CJ Jones … Joseph
Sky Ferreira … Baby’s Mom
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|Director:||Edgar Wright—“Shaun of the Dead” (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (2010)|
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|Distributor:||TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment|
Baby is a professional driver… of sorts. Ever since Baby first stole his first Mercedes at the age of 14, Baby (Ansel Elgort) has always been on the wrong side of the law, serving as a professional getaway driver for Doc (Kevin Spacey) and his clients. Why would Baby serve in such a capacity, you ask? Because that Mercedes he stole all those years ago belonged to Doc. As payment for stealing the Mercedes, Doc has forced Baby to serve him until his debt is repaid.
Knowing that Baby’s debt is about to be repaid, Baby informs him that after this last job, he is ending the life of a getaway driver and will find more honorable work with his set of skills. But Doc isn’t quite done with him yet. He tells Baby he wants him to work one final job, stealing money orders from the Post Office. Normally, Baby would say no, except Doc knows about his new diner girlfriend, Debora (Lily James), and threatens to harm her if he doesn’t follow through with the robbery.
“Baby Driver” is one of the most mind-blowing, adrenaline pumping action films I’ve seen in a long time. The never-ending amount of car chases make “The Fast and the Furious” films look like child’s play (so much so that after the film was over my head was still spinning). Clocking in at almost two hours, I have to say “Baby Driver” makes excellent use of what it is given, with a solid plot, excellent pacing, and some relatively strong performances, particularly from new-comer Ansel Elgort (more on this later). The only performance I really didn’t really care for was Jamie Foxx’s villain, Bats, as the he seemed very one-dimensional and, really, forgetful.
However, one of the strongest aspects of the film, which other reviewers have mentioned, is the soundtrack. In the story, Baby suffers from tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) brought on by a car-wreck when he was younger. To drown out the ringing, he listens to music. The music for the film comes solely from Baby’s iPod playlist, and spans a variety of genres and makes the film stand out from other typical action films.
I have to commend Ansel Elgort’s performance as Baby. He doesn’t have many lines, but when he does talk, it’s always for a specific purpose. Ansel conveys Baby more through his silence, his body language (and even lack of), which peaks the viewer’s curiosity as Baby’s backstory is revealed over time.
What is truly sad is the amount of questionable content that spans across this film.
Let’s start with language. It is extreme, with over 55 uses of the f-bomb (probably even more than that, as it seemed like it appeared every other word in sentences). Jesus Christ’s name is taken in vain 3 times, God’s name is taken in vain 8 times (6 as G**-d*mn). Other words include sh*t (20+), a** (4), a**-hole, d**n, h*ll (3), b*tch, p*ssed and p*ssies. There is also some crude sexual dialog, innuendo, and an inappropriate use of the word “retarded.”
Next comes the violence portion of the film. As I said the action is virtually non-stop and, in most cases, extreme. There are numerous scenes where people (both criminals and innocents) are shot in graphic manners. Added to this is the psychopathic dialog from Bats regarding the people he has murdered—some times going into quite some detail. There are multiple car chases, including one in which a car crashes and a beam graphically goes through a character. People fall from buildings; people are crushed. I could go on and on with the violence in this film, as there are many more such scenes, but it’s safe to say that if the language isn’t cause enough to stay away from this film, the violence is.
There is also sexual content to contend with, including a camera shot lasciviously focused on a female character’s behind, talk of role play in the bedroom, couples kissing, innuendos, vulgar sexual comments, cleavage baring outfits, and some sexual lyrics.
Sadly, there is also nothing redeeming (morals or spiritual lessons) to gain from this film.
“Baby Driver,” as I said, has a killer (no pun intended) soundtrack and some good cinematography all around. Still, I walked out with a sense of wishing I could un-see the things I watched—particularly the graphic nature of the violence. With some serious editing (the violence, profanity and the sexual content) this might have been a film to recommend for its clever, synergistic use of choreographed action precisely edited to the constant rhythm and beat of music. Sadly, as it stands, I do not recommend “Baby Driver” for viewing by anyone, especially by kids and teens.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.