Baby Driver

Last updated on 23 July 2017

Baby Driver is a 2017 action film written and directed by Edgar Wright. It stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Bernthal. The plot follows Baby, a young getaway driver, who is coerced into working for a kingpin.

Baby Driver was co-produced by Working Title Films and Big Talk Productions, and was distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures and by TriStar Pictures in the US, while the independent studio Media Rights Capital provided archive footage possession for the film's US release.[6] It premiered at South by Southwest on March 11, 2017, and was released theatrically on June 28, 2017.[7][8] The film received critical acclaim and has grossed over $118 million worldwide.

Baby Driver poster.jpg
Baby Driver poster.jpg

Plot

Baby is a young getaway driver in Atlanta, Georgia. When he was a child, a car accident killed his parents and left him with severe tinnitus, which he blocks out by listening to music. He also records his everyday conversations and remixes them into songs using vintage audio equipment. Baby works for Doc, a mastermind heist planner, to pay off a debt he incurred after stealing one of Doc's cars. Baby lives with his deaf foster father, Joseph. After pulling off a robbery, Baby is told that the next job will pay off his debt. Baby meets waitress Debora at a diner he frequents, and they fall in love.

Doc's next heist, an armored car robbery, with a different crew, runs into difficulty after an armed veteran attempts to stop it. The crew escapes after a brief car chase on an interstate. Doc informs Baby his debt is paid. He instructs him to get rid of a car carrying the body of JD, one of the crew members, Doc killed for leaving his shotgun behind at the scene of the crime. Baby gets a job as a pizza delivery man. He takes Debora to a fancy restaurant, where he runs into Doc. Doc tells him he has to do another job, threatening to hurt him and his loved ones if he refuses.

The job is a post office robbery, where the plan is to steal blank money orders. The crew consists of members from the previous two heists: Buddy, a former stock broker turned criminal, his wife Darling; and the trigger-happy Bats. They go to acquire weapons from a dealer nicknamed the "Butcher". Realizing that the Butcher and his men are police, Bats kills them all. The group stops at the diner where Debora works, but an argument between Buddy and Bats prompts them to leave without eating. Doc chastises the group for killing the policemen, who were working for him. Doc calls off the heist, but changes his mind after Buddy reveals he knows another fence. Baby attempts to leave and run away with Debora, but he is stopped by Bats and Buddy, who find his recorder with their recorded conversation. On hearing one of his mixtapes, the group concludes that Baby is not trying to rat on them.

During the heist, Bats kills a security guard. An enraged Baby drives the car straight into a parked truck, impaling and killing Bats on an overhanging rebar. The remaining three flee the scene on foot. Baby then steals a car but runs into Darling and Buddy's stolen truck. The police catch up to them and kill Darling. Baby steals another car and flees to his apartment. After leaving Joseph at an assisted living home with all of his money, Baby returns to the diner to get Debora only to find Buddy waiting for him. Baby shoots Buddy and flees with Debora as the police close in.

Baby goes to Doc to retrieve one of his tapes. Doc refuses to help but relents after seeing that Baby is in love with Debora. Doc gives them a bag of money and tells them to run. In the parking garage, they are ambushed by the Butcher's men. Doc kills them, but Buddy, who stole a police car, runs over Doc killing him. Baby takes a truck and pushes Buddy's car off a ledge. However Buddy escapes before the car falls and fires his gun next to Baby's ears temporarily deafening him. Debora knocks away Buddy's gun, which Baby uses to shoot him in the knee causing him to fall off the parking garage to his death.

Debora tries to help Baby escape. They are stopped by police, and Baby surrenders. At his trial Joseph, Debora, and several of the people Baby saved during the robberies testify in his defense. Baby is sentenced to 25 years in prison with a parole hearing after five. Baby, whose real name is revealed to be Miles, receives postcards from Debora who promises to wait for him. Upon his release, he finds Debora waiting for him, and they kiss.

Cast

  • Ansel Elgort as Baby, a young man with a love for music who works as the getaway driver for a rotating crew of bank robbers.[9]
    • Hudson Meek as Young Baby
  • Kevin Spacey as Doc, the mysterious kingpin of the rag-tag gang of bank robbers and a veteran criminal mastermind
  • Lily James as Debora, a young waitress who befriends Baby
  • Jon Hamm as Buddy, a handsome party animal and frequent member of Doc's gang
  • Eiza González as Darling, one of Doc's gang of bank robbers, Buddy’s lawless and scandalous wife and partner in crime[10]
  • Jamie Foxx as Bats, the impulsive, violent member of Doc's gang
  • Jon Bernthal as Griff, one of Doc's gang, who mocks Baby constantly.
  • Flea as Eddie "No-Nose", one of Doc's gang[11]
  • Lanny Joon as JD, one of Doc's gang
  • CJ Jones as Joseph, Baby's foster father
  • Sky Ferreira as Baby's Mother
  • Lance Palmer as Baby's Father
  • Big Boi as Restaurant Patron #1[12]
  • Killer Mike as Restaurant Patron #2[12]
  • Paul Williams as "The Butcher"[12]
  • Jon Spencer as Prison Guard[12]

Production

Development

Writer-director Edgar Wright conceived Baby Driver in 1994; he adapted the film's original planned beginning into a 2003 music video he directed for Mint Royale's "Blue Song",[13] which starred Noel Fielding as a music-loving getaway driver for a group of bank robbers.[14] A clip of the music video is shown briefly in the movie as the main character flips between television channels.

Casting

On July 22, 2014, it was announced that Edgar Wright, who had left the film Ant-Man, would next direct Baby Driver for Working Title Films instead. Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Nira Park produced the film.[15] On January 13, 2015, it was reported that Ansel Elgort was in early talks to star in the film, which Sony Pictures Entertainment would release through TriStar Pictures.[16] Emma Stone and Michael Douglas were also being eyed to be in the cast.[17] On May 7, 2015, Lily James was reported to be in talks to be the female lead, a waitress and Elgort's character's love interest.[18][19]

Jamie Foxx was reported to be in talks to join the film on September 8, 2015.[20] On October 20, 2015, Jon Hamm signed on to play one of the villains, a former Wall Street trader, now a member of the bank robbers' gang.[19] Kevin Spacey was cast as a veteran criminal and the boss of the crew on November 3, 2015.[21] On December 16, 2015, Eiza González joined the film to play one of the bank robbers, and Hamm's character's wife.[22] Jon Bernthal was cast as Griff on February 23, 2016.[23] On January 8, 2017, Wright posted via Twitter that "Streep is in my new movie", deleting the tweet shortly afterward, leading some to speculate that Meryl Streep would appear in Baby Driver.[24] Streep cameoed in the movie It's Complicated, which is being broadcast on a television set visible during a scene.

Wright enlisted Ryan Heffington as the film's choreographer to work on the actors' timing and movements in order to sync them with the music soundtrack.[25][26]


Media Rights Capital and TriStar co-distribute the film in the US, which Park produced through her Big Talk Productions, with Wright having written the script.[18]

Filming

Principal photography on the film began on February 17 and concluded on May 13, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia.[27][28]

Soundtrack

Baby Driver (Music from the Motion Picture) is the soundtrack album of the film. The soundtrack was released on June 23, 2017, on CD, vinyl and digital music via the Columbia Records imprint, 30th Century Records.[29] The album features a combination of artists, from various decades, including Blur, Run the Jewels, Sky Ferreira, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Queen and Golden Earring.[30] "Holy Calamity (Bear Witness II)" by Handsome Boy Modeling School and "Ready Lets Go" by Boards of Canada are used in the film, but are not included on the soundtrack.

The film takes its name from "Baby Driver", a song from the Simon & Garfunkel album Bridge over Troubled Water. The song is played during the end credits.[31] Wright consulted with James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, before Vol. 2 released to ensure the two films did not feature the same songs on their soundtracks.[32]

Track listing

The soundtrack features three original tracks – a cover of "Easy" by Sky Ferreira, "Chase Me" by Danger Mouse, featuring Run The Jewels and Big Boi, and "Was He Slow?" by Kid Koala.[30] "Chase Me" heavily samples '"Bellbottoms" by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, also featured on the soundtrack.

No. Title Artist(s) Length
1. "Bellbottoms" Jon Spencer Blues Explosion 5:17
2. "Harlem Shuffle" Bob & Earl 2:52
3. "Egyptian Reggae" Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers 2:37
4. "Smokey Joe's La La" Googie Rene 3:02
5. "Let's Go Away For Awhile" The Beach Boys 2:21
6. "B-A-B-Y" Carla Thomas 2:57
7. "Kashmere" Kashmere Stage Band 4:57
8. "Unsquare Dance" Dave Brubeck 2:00
9. "Neat Neat Neat" The Damned 2:42
10. "Easy (Single Version)" The Commodores 4:16
11. "Debora" T. Rex 3:19
12. "Debra" Beck 5:43
13. "Bongolia" Incredible Bongo Band 2:15
14. "Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)" The Detroit Emeralds 3:53
15. "Early In The Morning" Alexis Korner 3:01
16. "The Edge" David McCallum 2:54
17. "Nowhere to Run" Martha and the Vandellas 3:02
18. "Tequila" The Button Down Brass 3:32
19. "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby" Sam & Dave 3:16
20. "Every Little Bit Hurts" Brenda Holloway 2:57
21. "Intermission" Blur 2:27
22. "Hocus Pocus (Original Single Version)" Focus 3:18
23. "Radar Love (1973 Single Edit)" Golden Earring 3:44
24. "Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up" Barry White 4:51
25. "Know How" Young MC 4:02
26. "Brighton Rock" Queen 5:10
27. "Easy" Sky Ferreira 4:28
28. "Baby Driver" Simon & Garfunkel 3:16
29. "Was He Slow (Credit Roll Version)" Kid Koala 1:47
30. "Chase Me" Danger Mouse featuring Run the Jewels and Big Boi 3:27
Total length: 1:43:53

Charts

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[33] 5
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[34] 154
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[35] 66
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[36] 52
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[37] 40
US Billboard 200[38] 27

Release

In August 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced that the film would be released on March 17, 2017. It was briefly pushed back to August 11, 2017, before settling on June 28, 2017.[39] It had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 11, 2017.[40]

Box office

As of July 23, 2017, Baby Driver has grossed $84.2 million in the United States and Canada and $34.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $118.6 million, against a production budget of $34 million.[5]

In North America, Baby Driver was initially projected to gross $12–20 million from 3,150 theaters over its first five days, with the possibility to earn more due to strong reviews.[4] The film made $5.7 million on its first day (including $2.1 million from Tuesday night previews) and $3.3 million on Thursday.[41] It made $6 million on Friday, increasing five-day projections to $27 million. It ended up opening to $21 million (and a five-day total of $30 million), finishing second at the box office, behind fellow newcomer Despicable Me 3 ($72.4 million). This marked the biggest American debut of Wright's career, doubling the $10.6 million opening of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in 2010.[42] In its second weekend the film grossed $13 million (a drop of 36.7%), finishing third at the box office[43] and in its third weekend made $8.8 million, finishing fourth.[44]

Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 95% based on 237 reviews, with an average rating of 8.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Stylish, exciting, and fueled by a killer soundtrack, Baby Driver hits the road and it's gone—proving fast-paced action movies can be smartly written without sacrificing thrills."[45] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a score of 86 out of 100, based on 52 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[46] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[41]

Peter Debruge of Variety called the film "a blast, featuring wall-to-wall music and a surfeit of inspired ideas".[47] The New York Times' Manohla Dargis listed the film as a "NYT Critic’s Pick", writing that the film "is so good that you want it to be better and go deeper, for it to put down its guns (or at least hold them differently) and transcend its clichés and cine-quotes so it can rocket out of the genre safe box into the cosmic beyond where craft and technique transform into art".[48] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film five out of five stars, listing it as his "film of the week" and calling it an "outrageously enjoyable petrolhead heist caper".[49]

CNN's Brian Lowry wrote that the film "is a crackling-good ride, one that organically weaves music and humor into a slick showcase for its cast. Despite a few plotholes toward the end, writer-director Edgar Wright's stylish thriller consistently clicks on all cylinders".[50] Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars, and called it "fluid and jaw-dropping—the kind of thing you want to see immediately again after it’s over to catch all the things you missed".[51] Empire's Terri White gave the film five out of five stars, calling it an "awe-inspiring piece of filmmaking" and "one of the most utterly original films in years".[52] Amid the positive reviews, a mildly negative review came from Joyce Slaton of Common Sense Media, who rated Baby Driver three out of five stars. Despite praising the driving sequences and music, Slaton felt that the film "quickly slump[s] into stereotypes" and "fails to grab viewers on a visceral level," particularly criticizing Baby's backstory and the portrayal of Debora and Darling.[53]

Sequel

On July 5, 2017, it was reported that Sony and Wright were in discussions for a potential sequel to the film.[54]

References

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External links

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