Watch How ‘Baby Driver’s Opening Chase Looks on a Map of Atlanta
The opening chase of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is pure adrenaline, set to the sounds of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion song “Bellbottoms.” It is also, according to this excellent new video by Vox, fairly accurate to the geography of the city in which the film takes place and was shot, Atlanta.
The video above reproduces, in split-screen, the opening chase alongside a moving, zooming Google Map of the city. What you see is that it is largely close to the actual streets, highways, and intersections. Ansel Elgort’s Baby might peel out and take a hairpin turn to escape the cops, and sure enough, on the map you can see where his path takes a sudden loop or shift. There’s really only a couple points where Wright and his editors cheat, mostly by condensing long stretches of highway in ways that concentrate the tension and don’t let the excitement dissipate.
Car chases don’t necessarily demand absolute accuracy to the real world; they’re works of fiction. Only someone who knows the streets of Atlanta intimately well would be able to tell without this video whether or not the movie makes sense of the place’s real-world geography. What I think the video does show, though, is that attention to detail matters in all aspects of filmmaking. The way Wright paid close attention to where these crooks might go to escape their pursuers is the same level of care he paid to the action, editing, music, and acting. It’s just one more example of why Baby Driver is such a fun ride — even if it’s not always 100 percent accurate.