Edgar Wright is one of those directors with hit-and-miss popularity. His geek cred is unmistakeable, having worked on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and a huge part of Ant-Man, but his so-called Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End, didn’t exactly set the box office on fire (only Hot Fuzz exceed $50 million dollars worldwide). Enter Baby Driver. On a budget of only $34 million, Baby Driver has already surpassed every other one of Edgar Wright’s films in terms of U.S. box office numbers with $58 million in earnings (and counting).
For those who don’t know, Baby Driver follows Baby, a getaway driver, as he goes on a series of heists. But the movie’s insane action sequences (plus some others without much action at all) are choreographed to the music that Baby has plugged into his ear from one of his many iPods. In fact, the choreography is part of Baby’s character, as he works hard to time everything he does to the current beat pounding through his head. The combination of action, music, and fantastic acting and directing produces one of the more unique films to have come out in the last decade (and probably longer). Think of La La Land with car chases and criminals.
Because music is such an integral part of Baby Driver‘s plot, imagine Edgar Wright’s horror when he woke up one day and realized his film would be coming out just a couple of months after another movie with music central to its plot: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
“Earlier this year, before Guardians 2 had come out, I suddenly had a panic, I thought, ‘Oh, what if one of my Baby Driver songs are in Guardians 2?’ So I texted [James Gunn] and we had this funny text conversation…where I said: ‘Hey man I was just panicking that some of my Baby Driver songs are in Guardians 2.’ And he goes, ‘Well, do you have any ELO?’ And I was like, ‘No.’ ‘Do you have any Queen?’ He said, ‘No. Do you have any Sweet?’ And I said, ‘No.’ ‘Do you have any Barry White?’ And he goes, ‘No. I was going to use a Barry White song but I didn’t.’ And I said, ‘Well I’m using Barry White.’ Neither of us divulged what the song was…we just went back and forth, and then we figured out that neither of us were using the same songs.”
In the end, both films were able to uniquely use their music without either one stepping on the other’s toes. It’s an example of filmmaker collaboration for the ages., and that’s a good thing, too, as both movies could lay claim to the title of Best Movie of the Summer. James Gunn’s friendliness also helped Edgar Wright as he struggled with another nemesis: film studio executives, who wanted the cars in the movie to be suped-up muscle cars with a decided amount of sexiness, perhaps Fast and Furious with a rocking soundtrack. In the end, Wright worked with actual former getaway drivers to compromise on cars that looked like sedans, but had some serious power beneath their hoods.
All of the struggle was worth it. Besides Baby Driver‘s financial success, the movie has wowed critics, scoring a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and pleased fans with an “A-” Cinemascore. Baby Driver is playing in theaters pretty much everywhere.
Have you seen this insanely cool movie? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below (and if it’s your best movie of the summer) or hit me up on Twitter at @LRM_Brian, where I can be found musing on the world of geekery daily.
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SOURCE: 89.3 KPCC