The need for speed

La La Land meets Drive, you say? Strap yourself in, says Mark Dinning, because musical-actioner Baby Driver is racing in on some of the best reviews of 2017...

Edgar Wright has always brought a unique sensibility to whatever he’s directed. From the pop culture whizz-bang of TV’s Spaced to his “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End.

(That famous “Cornetto” umbrella term, incidentally, came from the end of a long day of Hot Fuzz interviews when Wright, pressed on why both of his movies featured a Cornetto – it happened that they were just his favourite ice cream – jokingly said that he felt they represented a troika comparable to Krzysztof Kieslowski’s acclaimed Three Colours film trilogy.)

Anyway, the point is this: Edgar Wright has always been different. He’s just never been this different before.

When he walked away from his version of Ant-Man, which he had cherished and worked on for so long, citing “creative differences” with parent studio Marvel, Wright was wounded and reverted back to an old idea. A crazy idea. An idea that’s now getting hyperbolic reviews across the US.

Here’s the rub: Baby Driver stars hot young thing Ansel Elgort (he got down to the final three for the role of the new Han Solo) as Baby, the getaway driver forced into one last job by Kevin Spacey’s evil crimelord, and alongside a gang of cool-as-they-come anti-heroes including Jamie Foxx and a demented-looking Jon Hamm.

So far so generic. But here’s the twist: Baby suffers from chronic tinnitus from an old accident, meaning he constantly has a pair of headphones in, playing a soundtrack of hip tunes to drown out the endless noise.

The result is a car chase epic meets musical masterpiece, cool motors choreographed to pumping beats. La La Land meets Drive, then. See you in the queue.
Baby Driver is in cinemas from Thursday July 20.

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