A Fast-And-Furious Wild Bunch In “Baby Driver”

Today’s Hollywood trudges on.  Multiethnic madness—and villainy—prevail in Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver (2017), with its speedily moving wild bunch.

Jon Hamm is even better here, playing a married crook turned killer, than he was in Mad Men.  Hamm is Buddy, who’s fairly likable until his wife Darlin’ (Eliza Gonzalez), another crook, gets shot up by the police about as intensely as Bonnie Parker does in Bonnie and Clyde.  Now Buddy is out for blood—the blood of the dude he blames for his wife’s death:  the getaway driver, Baby (Ansel Elgort), who seldom talks and incessantly listens (to rock music).  In fact he drives, walks and runs to the inescapable music, and even the shoot-out in which Darlin’ loses her life is a dance routine with firearms.

Edgar Wright is a British director whose technique in Baby Driver is cartoonish but soberingly fun and mostly clever.  His compatriot, Lily James, is very pretty and quite pleasing, affecting an American accent, as Baby’s girlfriend.  A lot of things go on in this flick, and I was never bored with any of it.  It’s utterly propulsive but not punishing (I think)—except to the crooks.

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