Baby (Ansel Elgort) has a talent. As long as he’s plugged in to a playlist on one of his many iPods, blocking out the tinnitus that’s been ringing in his ears since childhood, he’s the best getaway driver in town.
Again and again he’s roped into bank robberies by Doc (Kevin Spacey), a crime lord to whom he owes a longstanding debt. This means working with the unsavoury characters in Doc’s constantly rotating crew, including unstable Batts (Jamie Foxx) and ruthless lovers Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eliza Gonzalez).
What Baby really wants is to leave this all behind, and drive off into the sunset with diner waitress Debora (Lily James). But getting out of Doc’s clutches could be the hardest and most costly escape of his life.
I am not, as a rule, excited about car chases. As far as I’m concerned, a well-crafted line of dialogue or dramatic beat can be far more exciting than wall-to-wall action. But every now and then, a film comes along to persuade me that that sort of thing can be fun – and I’m more than happy to go along for the ride.
Baby Driver is much like its protagonist: swaggeringly cool and deeply nerdy, blood-spattered but hiding a heart of gold. The film may ultimately prove to have more style than substance – but in the moment it’s a blast of pure entertainment. See it on the big screen, with a crowd, and plenty of popcorn.
- Did you enjoy the film, and why or why not? If you’ve seen any other films by Edgar Wright, such as Scott Pilgrim Vs the World, or the Cornetto Trilogy, how did Baby Driver compare?
- How many different genres do you think the film combines – for example, action, musical, romance? What is the effect of melding genres in this way?
- How did you react to the film’s use of music and sound? Edgar Wright has stated that many scenes in the film originated with a particular song: how does the effect the experience of watching the film? What role does music play in the narrative of each of our lives?
- What did you think of the film’s dialogue? Did its sense of humour resonate with you?
‘You’ve always had the archetype of the strong, silent type in action films. I thought it would be interesting to give a reason why. I hope the movie will make people think about how they hear things and how other people hear things.’ – Edgar Wright
- How does Baby Driver play with the archetype of the strong, silent action hero? What is lurking beneath Baby’s quiet exterior? How did you react to him as a character?
- Did you find yourself emotionally invested in any of the film’s other characters, and why or why not? To what extent are they intended to subvert or go beyond their archetypes?
‘The headphones and the sunglasses are like a ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ approach. He is using those things to blinker himself to the consequences.’ – Edgar Wright
- How do we see Baby gradually accepting moral responsibility for his actions? Do you think that he eventually got the ending he deserved? What about the other characters?
- To what extent do our good actions or motivations in life make up for our bad ones? How far can we ever really determine how much punishment or lenience someone ‘deserves’? It is ever possible – or truly desirable – to escape the consequences of our actions?