After Edgar Wright dropped out of Ant-Man, he went to work on an original script he’d written called Baby Driver, which is not a helpful title. Is it about a baby who drives? A driver of babies? A person named “Baby Driver”? Turns out that last one was pretty close, as Ansel Elgort—the once and future DJ Ansolo— stars in Baby Driver as a guy named “Baby” who drives getaway cars. Wright has tackled zombie movies, cop movies, video game movies, and apocalypse movies, and now, with the improbably-named Baby Driver, he’s tackling getaway movies.
The first trailer for Baby Driver dropped over the weekend, as the movie screened at SXSW—everyone lost their sh*t it’s apparently so good—and it’s a f*cking great trailer, which backs up that South-by hype. It kind of looks like if Drive (Ryan Gosling) was funny, and given Wright’s meticulous attention to detail, I doubt that’s accidental. The ensemble includes Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, and FLEA, which is delightfully random. Super into scumbag Jon Hamm and the dynamic of the whole heist gang (you can see more of it in the international trailer).
So Baby listens to music constantly and according to the reactions from SXSW, the soundtrack features prominently in the movie. You can get a sense of it in the trailer, with the way the action is choreographed to match the backbeat, and this has led some to call Baby Driver a “musical”. Look, I like Edgar Wright and if he ever did make a musical I’d be there on opening night despite my general dislike of musicals, but a musical is a specific thing. Using a soundtrack in a clever way is not a musical, it’s just using the soundtrack in a clever way. With Wright, I’m sure it’s VERY clever and I very much look forward to this movie but let’s not reinvent words. Besides, Baby Driver is already reinventing Ansel Elgort’s acting career. I wonder if DJ Ansolo is on the soundtrack?
North American trailer: