Edgar Wright has never made a bad film. With an average of three years between movie since he became a household name with Shaun of the Dead in 2004, the wait for another Wright film has grown to be excruciating. Yet despite every one of his successes, he’s not as revered as he should be. Maybe that’s because he’s worked in pretty niche genres—zombie comedies, buddy cop, and comic book/video game hybrids—which high-brow film snobs either love or abhor. He’s a student of the medium, infusing each work with loving homages to the greats before him, but his name isn’t quite as respected as someone like Guy Ritchie or even the growing Matthew Vaughn.
With Baby Driver, that is going to change.
Let’s get one thing straight: this movie kicks ass, plain and simple. From the opening moments, Wright lets loose all of his wildest passions and dreams that he’s had stored up for decades since he first envisioned the film. Pulsing with the beat of music as its lifeblood unlike anything you’ve seen before, the movie revs with the spirit of Wright as he zooms us through two-hours of cinematic bliss, making it a damn-near impossible task to not have a grin on your face the entire time.
Behind the wheel is Ansel Elgort, hardly seen since The Fault in Our Stars, who in the blink of an eye becomes the most badass hero of 2017. Donning killer shades, a superstar aura, and rocking out to some killer tunes, Elgort is a sheer pleasure to watch as Baby, the titular hero roped into driving for a nefarious crime boss.
As much as I absolutely adore Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, this is Wright’s best work as he crafts a thrilling, romantic, music-driven movie that bursts with life and color. Along with it, he directs the best performances yet of his career. With knockout performances from Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and a batshit crazy Jamie Foxx, Wright—when he gets his way—can do pretty much anything he sets his mind to, even if its directing the most impressive cast he’s gotten his hands on yet.
Baby Driver really sets a new bar for car movies. I’ve never seen the Fast and the Furious movies (I will be soon, though) but not one chase scene in this movie contained CGI. Like Mad Max: Fury Road, practical, realistic effects far surpass anything fake. It’s thrilling, stylish, and as cool as a cucumber.
The first thing I thought about once the credits started to roll was, “I wonder if they’ll make a sequel” because these days, even Daddy’s Home is getting one. As a movie-goer, I say hell-fucking-yes. Who the heck wouldn’t want more? Think of all the places they could go! But as a film-buff who wants more fresh, innovative, passion projects, I am more than satisfied by this one-off in an era that doesn’t allow such a thing. Baby Driver is a must-see.