Baby Driver ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Car thriller, car heist, car romance, car horror – you’ll get them all in Edgar Wright’s latest that also gives us the new genre of car musical – or as he aptly christened it: his Car Car Land. Ansel Elgort’s Baby is an extremely talented getaway car driver who suffers from tinnitus that he blocks out with a fantastic playlist from his iPod which doubles as the film’s effortlessly cool soundtrack. In order to pay off a debt owed to Kevin Spacey’s Doc, he drives on a number of bank jobs Doc masterminds with a rotating crew of dodgily tattooed characters that includes The Punisher (Jon Bernthal), Don Draper (Jon Hamm), a Red Hot Chilli Pepper (Flea) and Jamie Foxx (Jamie Foxx) with varying degree of menace and eccentricity. Baby then meets Debora just as he is about to square off his debt to Doc and get out of the game or so he thought and glorious and intensely visceral mayhem ensues. So far, the story is hardly original while Wright’s film is also a melting pot of cinematic influences: The Getaway and The Driver are the obvious ones; but I’ve spotted True Romance, A Bout de Souffle, Wild At Heart, Bonnie & Clyde, The Shining and The Hitcher… the list goes on and on and I’m sure I’ve missed more than a few. But it is the way how these familiar elements come together to form something so refreshingly original in this brilliantly directed film that really blows me away. Wright’s stylish and confident delivery and the precise and thoughtful manner he marries the action with the rhythmic beats of the music, fading in and out of the film but intrinsically woven into the narrative, produce a classy and unique piece of Pure Entertainment that left me breathless on the edge of my seat. While by no means perfect – there’s a last act weather goof that bugs me and both Doc and Debora’s characters are more fantastical than realistic; but with the fast paced and fluid editing, subtle and not so subtle cinematic references and irreverent humour and characterizations, all the elements of his beloved slacker sitcom on Channel 4 are present, so how can I or anyone possibly resists when he practically gave us Spaced the Movie here?

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