Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver—from acclaimed pop-director Edgar Wright—is the epitome of Summer Movie Fun. Though it is a collection of music-video vignettes disguised as action sequences, it rattles and hums up until the dénouement.

Wright, who also wrote the film, delivers with his usual quirky dialogue and singular visuals. Ansel Elgort— whose balletic maneuvers both on foot and behind-the-wheel dazzle—is the eponymous Baby, but instead Wright and the soundtrack in Baby’s earbuds are the real stars. Elgort’s baby-faced “aww, shucks” disposition and true charisma serve just well enough in the tale of bank-robbers and the dough-eyed saint that gets caught up in their Atlanta-underworld. While he is a little more at home in YA rom-coms, he is able to put the proverbial pedal down when he is called upon.

Elgort also gets major assists from all-star support players in Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, and Kevin Spacey; Lily James exudes smiley charm as a waitress-cum-Bonnie; and deaf actor C.J. Wilson gives a great turn as Baby’s former caretaker. Spacey gives the film a certain gravitas, Foxx shines in supporting roles, and Hamm, though he has to fight hard against a former role, is such a polished actor that he succeeds.

The movie’s escalating arpeggio concludes with a final battle with Hamm’s Big Bad, but after the music slows it becomes apparent that there is room being left for a probable sequel in the similar way as another movie dripping in credible camp, The Kingsmen. It hurts the total product, but not terribly. It would be incredibly hard to find a better-made, more fun movie released in 2017.

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