Just when I was getting tired of all the reboots, sequels and franchises, Edgar Wright came along with one of the most original pieces of entertainment I’ve seen in ages. His action-comedy “Baby Driver” is almost a summation of everything he’s been working toward since “Shaun of the Dead.” His love clever edits, action beats perfectly timed with music and perfect sense of pacing are better than ever.
Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver for an Atlanta criminal (Kevin Spacey). An accident as a child left Baby with tinnitus, which he drowns out with the help of ever-present headphones, perpetually blasting music that he uses to time his escapes. When Baby falls hard for a waitress (Lily James), he takes on one last job, hoping to make a clean getaway, but soon finds himself on the run from Spacey and his violent cronies, including a psychotic Jamie Foxx and a wonderfully sleazy Jon Hamm.I’m still always going to be partial to Wright’s collaborations with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, just because the chemistry between the director and his stars is so explosive. And I don’t know that “Baby Driver” ever hits the inspired hits of “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,” which took the musical-action concept Wright uses here and spiked it with surrealness. But to call “Baby Driver” the least of Edgar Wrights’s films is simply to argue about varying degrees of greatness. This is one of the most fun and energetic films of the year. Wright keeps the music pumping, often timing every over-the-top chase or shootout to the rhythm, and his cast is game for whatever he’s up to. Its final act hits the skids when the director goes a bit too brutal with the violence and the epilogue feels a tad unnecessary. But overall, “Baby Driver’s” worth a few laps.