Baby Driver – In Cinemas this August

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Last year I bought tickets to see Lily James star in Kenneth Branagh‘s production of Romeo and Juliet in London. On the night the understudy played the part. With no disrespect to her replacement, this was disappointing because I enjoyed Lily James’ performance in Cinderella (2015), and she was a frequent highlight in otherwise luke-warm reviews for the production. Fans of Downton Abbey also love her. But then they are fans of Downton Abbey. Still, her involvement with Baby Driver caught my eye so I’ve been reading the publicity, and they’ve just released the trailer now that it’s premiered at SXSW:

This is the international trailer, which is much better than the American one, according to people who critique trailers.

Big Names

The rest of the cast is impressive. There’s Jamie Foxx being amusingly psychotic, Kevin Spacey being all Frank Underwood (House of Cards) and Jon Hamm emphatically not being Don Draper (Mad Men). Ansel Elgort plays Baby. He was in The Fault in Our Stars (2014), which I haven’t seen (and probably won’t).

Thriller, Comedy or Musical?

Edgar Wright wrote & directed it. He’s best known for collaborating with Simon Pegg on The Cornetto Trilogy. I loved the first two of those, and reviewed Hot Fuzz (2007), but I haven’t seen The World’s End (2013). I’ll try and put that right soon.

In interviews, Edgar Wright insists that this is a straightforward crime thriller with some funny moments, and not a comedy. He might have intended that, but some reviewers regard it as a pastiche of heist movies at the very least. The romantic leads certainly brought Honey Bunny & Pumpkin from Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994) to mind when I watched the trailer. One reviewer described Baby Driver as ‘a musical with car chases instead of dance routines’, and with an eclectic soundtrack ‘from MoTown to Brit Pop’, music is definitely a huge part of this film.

Whatever genres the likes of IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes settle on, I think we can rely on Baby Driver taking us on a fun and exhilarating ride this summer.