On the 10 hour drive down to Atlanta to see Desus and Mero, in between naps, I decided to revisit a recent film, ‘Baby Driver’, which is a perfect movie. Why is ‘Baby Driver’ perfect? It combines all of my favorite things: an amazing soundtrack that flawlessly blends new and old music, shootout scenes that synchronize perfectly with the background music (see Tequila shootout scene), crazy Jamie Foxx, Ansel Elgort being dreamy, and the city of Atlanta.
Atlanta is especially important to the fabric of the film. Ansel Elgort’s character, Baby, is pretty much the best driver in America, as he is able to seamlessly weave in and out of traffic in the streets of Atlanta. This is no small feat either: Atlanta may be one of the worst places to drive in the entire universe. To give you an idea on the driving situation, think about this: the metro area of Atlanta has a population of 5,490,000, give or take 1000 people. Apparently, everyone in the entire surrounding area drives on every road at the same time, at every hour of the day. It’s like if the freeway turned into the Staples Center parking lot after a Lakers game, but if the entire population of Los Angeles went to the game.
The pure skill and driving acumen that Baby showed on the road, all while avoiding other cars on the road, amazed me to no end. Each driving display was like a perfect Picasso masterpiece. It got me to thinking about which other drivers from movies could survive driving in Atlanta. This random thought quickly evolved into this article. In order for a driver to qualify for this list, they must be the best driver in their respective movie, be relatively untouchable on the road, drive a car/cart (no motorcycles allowed), and could probably beat me in Mario Kart (this is non-negotiable).
In order to sort of give you a shortlist, let’s shrink the field before we even get started. These are movie characters that are already eliminated: Louise from ‘Thelma & Louise’, Hightower from ‘Police Academy’, John McClane from ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’, Dominic Toretto from ‘The Fast & the Furious’ franchise, anybody from the movie ‘Airplane!’, Ricky Bobby from ‘Talladega Nights’.
Now that they are out of the way, here is the list of the best movie drivers in history.
Alfalfa Switzer – ‘The Little Rascals’
The essence of cool.
Can we bring back soap-box derbies? I feel like that would serve all of humanity’s problems and render all think-pieces about “what’s wrong with the new generation” practically useless. Anyway, based on logic and reason, there is no reason that these two should have won the Soap-Box Derby go-kart race. They had to build a new kart just before the race when the original kart, “The Blur,” was stolen. Another pair of drivers were actively trying to run them off the road. He doesn’t really know how to drive, they are like 7 (?). Alfalfa’s natural talent and ability to avoid attackers, and him being wildly underaged, makes him one of the best drivers in movie history.
Speed Racer – ‘Speed Racer’
In film that I can only remember as a vague, hazy fever dream, ‘Speed Racer’ delivered some of the most dazzling and confusing driving scenes in movie history. I would say that the driving was the only thing that the movie did right, as the dialogue was corny, all the fight scenes outside of the driving were dumb, and every character outside of Speed Racer was wholly unnecessary. Anyway, Speed Racer was the most talented driver throughout the entire movie. After he pissed off the Royalton CEO, every race was fixed to try keep him from winning and inevitably kill him. He wins a brutal open road race, even whilst people are actively trying to kill him. He then goes on to win the final Grand Prix race, which there was a $1,000,000 bounty on his head. Even through all that, he still maneuvered his way through the track better than any other driver out there.
Seriously, can someone confirm that this movie actually happened?
Doc Hudson – ‘Cars’
Now I know what you’re thinking, “But Ritchie, he’s a car. How can he be a good driver?” To that I say, don’t be dumb. If he’s a car, he’s controlling himself during races, which means he’s driving, which qualifies him for this list. Also, it is my list and I determine the rules. Doc Hudson’s record speaks for itself: he won three consecutive Piston Cups in the early 50’s and holds the record for the most wins in a season (27). These are records that none of these new drivers like Lightning McQueen and Chick Hicks could even dream of touching. He even taught Lightning how to perfect his driving, so he’s driving forward the growth of the sport using his own mastery.
Driver – ‘Drive’
This driver passed the ‘Baby Driver’ best driver test with full marks. Here is the checklist for that test: (1) they must be dreamy, (2) their driving has to be top notch and highly sought out by criminals, (3) they must endanger the lives of someone that they care about during the movie. Ryan Gosling’s character, the unnamed driver, does all of these things. Therefore, he automatically makes this list.
I mean, just look at him.
The Driver – ‘The Driver’
There’s just something about people named after their profession that makes them good at their job. If someone’s name is The Chef, you could only assume that they are amazing culinary skills, or they cook crack. If someone is named The Shooter, you can assume that they are money from the 3pt-line or that they are a decorated army sniper being framed for an assassination attempt. Anywho, this guy spent the entire movie flipping over cop cars and skidding around corners in the 70s, so he earned a spot on my list.
Was everyone on this list a white guy with relatively cool hair? Weird.