Baby Driver ★★★★½

Edgar Wright has done it again.

I've always been a massive fan of his work since the Cornetto trilogy, so of course that Baby Driver was on my horizon for a good while. I knew I'd love it, but my expectations were surpassed immensely. Action-packed, well-cast, and brilliantly-directed from start to finish, it pretty much has everything I'd want in this kind of film. It's simply a perfect example of my love for cinema.

Anyway, a young man nicknamed 'Baby' (Ansel Elgort) makes a career as an expert getaway driver in Atlanta, Georgia. His pass is deeply troubled, which can only be cured by his life-long love of classic oldies (that he plays on his trusty iPad both on and off the job). He thinks he's out the game, until his boss Doc wants him to pull off a big heist at a postal service, paired with Buddy, Darling, and a psychotic gun nut named Bats. The job doomed to fail, things go from bad to worse as he finds himself with the law and his colleagues closing in on him and his girlfriend Debora (Lily James).

Elgort has a very likeable presence as Baby, who is simply just an ordinary guy who just so happens to be in the wrong game, he doesn't talk much, but his shades and taste in music tell you much of what you need to know about him. Kevin Spacey is appropriately cast as a brutal but honest crime overlord, and Jamie Foxx makes for a brilliantly sadistic and detestable character in Bats, who will most likely have you disliking him within the first time he opens his mouth.

One thing that it particularly boasts is a brilliant soundtrack. I usually love the use of classic songs in films, and here it's no different. Baby's iPod library consists of such works by artists like Queen, Focus ('Hocus Pocus' is fucking epic), Barry White, T-Rex and The Beach Boys. For me, it's one of those elements that add a certain character and charm to the movie that I feel prevents it from being just another run-of-the-mill action flick, aside from it's characters and direction style.

Speaking of which, Wright's frenetic style is distinguishable more than ever, he employs his usual supply of tracking shots, quick cuts and glossy cinematography. The action, from the car chases to the gun-play is expertly-shot, with every cut being done in perfect conjunction with the music. Wright's love of pop culture also shows, with nods to films like Austin Powers and Monsters, Inc, as well as a genuine love of classic car chase films like The Driver (where even a brief cameo of Walter Hill shows up).

For the most part, I'd say it's one of Wright's best films in years, easily tied with Hot Fuzz as my favourite of his works. You may like it, you may just pass it off as an over-stylised mess with too much hype. However, I loved it from start to finish. A stylish, quirky and brutal thrill-ride that's some of the most fun I've had at a movie theater this year (especially after sitting through that Transformers nonsense).

9.5/10

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