Baby Driver is actually a lot darker and more cynical than audiences may think going into it. After an unfortunately long four-year-break in between films too – which featured him having his now infamous falling out with Marvel Studios over the creative direction of Ant-Man – Baby Driver marks Edgar Wright’s long-awaited return to the big screen. A musical twist on the standard heist movie formula, which sets every single scene and moment in the film to a specific song, the film is quickly shaping up to be both Wright’s most ambitious movie to date, and one of the can’t-miss titles of this year‘s already unbelievably-packed summer movie season.
Starring Ansel Elgort, the film follows Baby, a getaway car driver with a strong case of tinnitus, who drowns out the ringing in his ears with a number of playlists specially curated for each job, mood, and event throughout his day. But when Baby gets in too deep with a mob boss (Kevin Spacey) and crime crew than he ever planned on being, he’s forced to use his skills behind the wheel to try and get out before his life and the lives of those he cares about are ruined forever.
While the film’s mid-summer release date and musical genre implementations may fool some fans into seeing Baby Driver as a lighthearted piece of box office entertainment, though, Wright teases that it’s a lot darker and more visceral than that. While speaking with Empire Magazine about the film, Wright teased how the different-yet-familiar plot elements and character archetypes all play into the film’s own unique message, tone, and themes:
“I wanted to make a film that wasn’t in inverted commas. [Baby Driver is] visceral, darker, more cynical. People are surprised by it, in a good way. The stuff in it is universal: car chases and shoot-outs and music and beautiful girls. But the combination of things here feels new. Most action movies at the moment are solidly PG-13. I wanted something spikier.”
Aside from just the attention and respect that any new project from Wright is guaranteed to get from the filmgoing community, Baby Driver has already accumulated a noticeable amount of praise for itself. After making its premiere in March at the SXSW Film Festival to generally rave reviews from critics, the film has been riding high on its critical praise ever since. The film’s early positive reactions even led to Sony moving the release date for Baby Driver up from its originally quiet August date to a competitive late June slot.
However, despite each outing receiving its own fair share of praise, not all of Wright’s projects have been box office successes, so it’ll be interesting to see just how well an original heist caper like Baby Driver does when pitted against some much more well-known franchises and pre-existing properties hitting theaters relatively close to it. Fortunately, all of the trailers and marketing materials for Baby Driver have been met with positive reactions, from both those who have and haven’t seen it yet, which should hopefully help it leading into its release next month. Now, all that’s left to be seen is just how well Baby Driver does at the box office – and if it manages to gain enough traction to be a success, or gets lost in the shuffle.