(WABI) - Edgar Wright, similar to directors like Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, or Quentin Tarantino, has a unique and original style that can be recognized before the title credits are finished. Following his adaptation of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, as well as his hyper-stylized comedy trilogy featuring Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End, Wright's latest original film, Baby Driver, solidifies the filmmaker as one of the best working directors today.
Ansel Elgort stars as Baby, a getaway driver who's been working to pay off a debt to a crime boss, played by Kevin Spacey, in order to get out of his life of crime for good. Baby falls for a diner waitress and hopes to leave everything in his rear view behind with nothing but her, his car, his music, and the open road.
On paper the plot may not sound very exciting or original, but Wright's style is nearly overwhelming at times. He manages to juggle so many genres while maintaining a consistent tone and style that is so refreshing and unlike studio films of today. He fills nearly every frame with as much information as he can and there isn't a single moment wasted in this action/comedy/crime/musical/romance.
Now it's not a musical in the sense that people start singing or dancing, but the film is nearly wall-to-wall music set to a soundtrack of eclectic 70's R&B and forgotten alternative rock bands. Baby suffers from tinnitus following a childhood car accident, and therefore plays music all the time in his ear-buds to drown out the humming. Wright often edits to the music, creating a sort of choreographed rock opera action thriller that never slows down.
The performances are all fantastic, with standouts being the supporting cast of characters like Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm. Every performer masters Wright's quick and clever dialogue, and manages to jump back and forth between tones, many times within the same scene.
Baby Driver is the best time I've had at the movies so far this summer. It manages to be cool in a timeless sort of way that can appeal to moviegoers who loved classic car chase films like Bullitt or Vanishing Point, as well as current film fans that want something a little more realistic than the Fast and Furious films. It's got a great cast, flawless stunt work, incredible editing, slick cinematography, and a soundtrack that'll have you tapping your feet. I give Baby Driver an A-.