Baby Driver feels like a whole new kind of cinema

Edgar Wright’s great new film takes the car-chase picture apart and slaps it together in a new chassis

BABY DRIVER (Edgar Wright). 112 minutes. Opens Wednesday (June 28). See listing. Rating: NNNNN

If Walter Hill and Jean-Luc Godard had a movie baby, it’d look just like Baby Driver – but it wouldn’t sound half as good.

Writer/director Edgar Wright delivers a movie-going experience so giddy and thrilling that at times it feels like a wholly new kind of cinema. I’ve considered him a wild talent since 2004’s Shaun Of The Dead, and this may well be his most radical work yet.

It’s a syncopated crime thriller, its action cut almost entirely to the beats of the northern soul classics and newer hip-hop playing in the earbuds of its hero. Fresh-faced Baby (Ansel Elgort) is an Atlanta wheelman who processes the world through his iPod and dreams of going straight – a fantasy that becomes increasingly appealing when he falls for sweet-hearted civilian Debora (Lily James). 

Inventive and surprising, with a cast (including Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Eiza González, CJ Jones, Jon Bernthal and Jamie Foxx) that balances the intensity of the genre with Wright’s infectious sense of play, Baby Driver takes the car-chase picture apart and slaps it back together in a vibrant new chassis. It’s wonderful.

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