ACTION films often feel convoluted, preposterous and unfathomably big.

No amount of explosions or gun fights can stop them feeling impersonal and charmless when the blockbuster thrills are put before the story and characterisation.

But Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver breaks the mould by putting the focus entirely on the film’s protagonist ‘Baby’ (Ansel Elgort).

Elgort plays a young and ridiculously gifted getaway driver who is coerced into a life of crime as he is indebted to mob boss Doc (Kevin Spacey).

By keeping the camera on Baby in almost every frame, Wright’s film feels incredibly intimate. So you feel like you are being taken along on this joyride with him.

Even when the heists are actually taking place the camera dwells with Baby, primed and ready in the getaway car, but otherwise detached from the chaos unfolding just a few feet away.

The other element that makes Baby Driver stand out is the sound.

Instead of a set of songs simply providing the soundtrack to the movie, the music is completely married up to the visuals.

Baby is rarely seen without his iPod as he suffers from tinnitus caused by a tragic crash. The music drowns out the ring in his ears and distracts him from some painful memories.

This translates on screen to everything happening being set to the beat of a song in some very fancy editing work.

Music has not been used in such a clever way since Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash and it is telling that Wright, behind Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs The World, got the idea for Baby Driver from a music video for Mint Royale.

There is also a great supporting cast including Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Jon Bernthal but it is Elgort who really shines.

His portrayal of Baby as a man of contradictions is compelling throughout – a guy who is effortlessly cool but a bit of a loner, a getaway driver who the key to every successful robbery but is out of sorts with the crime world.

Wright is in typically top form behind the camera too. Forget Fast and Furious. Baby Driver’s high speed car scenes are as slick as they are breathtaking.

And the story is told with such style and energy – with no momentum breaking flashbacks or drawn out explanations – that it will keep your brain in top gear until the credits.

RATING: 8/10