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MOVIE REVIEW

Baby Driver also known as “Baby Driver - Alta Velocidade,” “Baby Driver: Il genio della fuga,” “Baby: El aprendiz del crimen,” “Drive Baby Drive,” “Em Ritmo De Fuga,” “Nyomd, bébi, nyomd,” “Põgenemise rütm,” “Tam Gaz,” “Vaikis ant ratu,” “Vozač”

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for violence and language throughout.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Action Crime Thriller Romance
Length:
1 hr. 53 min.
Year of Release:
2017
USA Release:
June 28, 2017 (wide—3,226 North American theaters)
DVD: October 10, 2017
Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Relevant Issues
Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Selfish lawlessness / robbery and stealing / carjacking / lust for money

Wild driving on public streets puts numerous lives in danger

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Crime is not “cool.” It is evil.

Real crime has VERY SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES during this lifetime and the next. See: Justice of God

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

“Psychopathic” sinners—selfish, egotistical, devoid of empathy for others, given to bold evil, illegal actions that destroy others, without remorse, unrepentant

Murder and the origin of death

Who was the world’s first murderer? Answer

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sin and the universal sinfulness of mankind

Do Not Enter
Do NOT click or touch the above button

Are you living a life of goodness and righteousness?

How do I know what is RIGHT FROM WRONG? Answer

How can I decide whether a particular activity is WRONG? Answer

Living in A MORAL STONE AGE

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

LUST—Learn what God’s Word says about it

Lascivious thinking and behavior

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

TRUE LOVE—What is true love? How do you know when you have found it? Answer

More about REAL LOVE

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

the burden of living with TINNITUS and the practice masking it with loud music (which may work, but can make it worse)

Featuring: Ansel Elgort … Baby
Jamie FoxxBats
Kevin SpaceyDoc
Jon BernthalGriff
Jon HammBuddy
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
See all »
Director: Edgar Wright—“Shaun of the Dead” (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (2010)
Producer: Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
See all »
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.

Poor Baby.

“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.

Objectionable Content

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.


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Comments from non-viewers
Negative—Can’t people make movies without using God’s name in vain?!! I think I may have otherwise gone to see “Baby Driver.”
GD, age 53 (Canada)
Negative—As a person who worked with the deaf and hard of hearing for over 30 years, I cringe when inappropriate references are made to someone with a hearing loss in films. There is no such thing as “partially deaf”. The proper terminology is deaf or hard of hearing. Film representations of people who have a hearing loss are usually grossly inaccurate and negatively change society’s perception of what challenges people may or may not face. Also, they are usually played by someone with normal hearing, which makes it even more inaccurate in its presentation. With this film being so horribly offensive, I would not be surprised if the person’s hearing loss is used as a “joke” in the film. It would be better if actors who are deaf or hard of hearing were hired, but their hearing loss was not made part of the storyline. They are regular people after all. They wear hearing aids or cochlear implants, or use ASL, but do integrate into society like normal people.
—Kathy Pj, age 57 (Canada)
Movie Critics
…Will resonate most with audiences that skew young, hip, and, like its helmer and its hero… more than a little obsessive. …
Peter Debruge, Variety
…Edgar Wright floors it before driving off a cliff… “Baby Driver” is still worth seeking out, if only for that first hour. Inside those opening 60 minutes is the best action-comedy of the last ten years—full stop… By the end it’s a one-trick pony of a movie…
Sam Fragoso, The Wrap
…It’s a stylish crime romp with a fresh look, hip soundtrack and attitude to spare. It’s also a lesson in how it takes more than those elements to make a complete movie experience. …It winds up driving in circles. [C]
Adam Graham, The Detroit News
…watching “Baby Driver” always feels like watching someone else do the driving rather than being behind the wheel yourself. It’s Uber, but for musicals.
Sam Adams, Slate