How the Bullet Train movie fits in with Japan

How the Bullet Train movie fits in with Japan

ACTION, THRILLER, COMEDY, JAPAN and……BRAD PITT? Yes! We are just as excited as you for the long awaited ‘Bullet Train’ film coming to our big screens soon. The “trained killer” - Ladybug (Brad Pitt) wants to give up the… erm trained killing life. But he’s yanked back into it for one last - dare I say ‘simple’ - mission by his handler Maria Beetle (Sandra Bullock). All that Ladybug has to do is collect a briefcase on a bullet train - also known as a shinkansen (​​しんかんせ) heading to Morioka from Tokyo.

It doesn’t take us long to realize that our screen time will not just be scenes of Tokyo like the Tokyo tower, or beautiful scenery shots of Mount Fuji. Instead we are treated with flashes of waving katanas, Kabuki masks, Noh masks and killers/assassins running around in the shinkansen.   

Bullet train Tokyo street

Image: Bullet Train 

Note that the Bullet Train movie is not a remake, but instead is based on the Japanese novel “Maria Bītoru (Maria Beetle)” by Kōtarō Isaka. The movie directed by David Leitch, is scheduled to be released in movie theaters on July 29 - so it's not out just yet! But if you’re after the home experience and want to fangirl over Brad Pitt alone, we estimate that Bullet Train will be on Netflix at some point in the United States around the end of December 2022 to late February 2023. 

So, what else can we expect from the movie? Well, in the Bullet Train trailer we encounter several other colorfully-nicknamed assassins: Prince (Joey King), Tangerine (Aaron Taylor Johnson), Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Hornet (Zazie Beetz). At first it seems the movie is very intense, fast paced and somehow gracefully orgastarted to the song “Stayin’ Alive”. But through some flash scenes we learn that Brad Pitt and his cohort of killers are on various missions that are all interrelated. From there things quickly spiral out of control, between the attacks with katana’s and hilarious banter we learn that not only is there a battle for that mysterious case, but the bullet train is threatened with a bomb.

Bullet Train Katana scene

Image: Bullet Train 

Much of the trailer hints to major outbreaks of action movie mayhem with some laughs thrown in. But, one thing that stood out in this highly anticipated movie, that arguably is the bigger star than Brad Pitt - Japan. After a very long lull of new movies, this one truly engaged an excitement nerve that I didn't even know was there. Seeing Japan’s buzzing cityscape, and the subtle hints of Japan’s culture, like the shushing passenger in the quiet cart, it will be thrilling to see where this movie takes us. 

Sugoi Mart Sushiro Sushi Train Game

Image: Sugoi Mart Sushiro Sushi Train Game 

If you’ve been left hungry for more from the Bullet Train trailer there are ways that this craving can be subdued: 1) watch the movie, or 2) find some Japanese escapism. Since we can't watch the movie yet - escapism it is! But, how can I do this I hear you ask? Well, Sugoi Mart has got it covered! Set up the Sushiro Sushi Train Game and live out the best sushi chef - train conductor fantasy, you could be the killer Itamae (sushi chef) that serves the best shrimp sushi. Or if you want a bit more of a hands-on experience try the Tokyo Tower 48-Piece Crystal Puzzle - a 3D jigsaw puzzle based off Tokyo Tower. And don’t forget your ambient lighting with the Mount Fuji Lamp, for the perfect Japanese night-time glow.

Bullet train snack fight

Image: Bullet Train 

One thing that our eagle eyes noticed in the trailer is the very sweet Karen Fukuhara working the isles selling train snacks. Now, Japan is absolutely known for their delicious variety of food and it made me HUNGRY for one thing, and one thing only - Japanese snacks! Whilst you’re on-board one of Japan’s bullet trains you’re able to buy a variety of snacks like Pringles, Pocky, Chocorooms and Milky candy and so much more!  The biggest trouble you’ll find is deciding what to get - but to troubleshoot this, I think trains should include a Snack Attack Lucky Bag. This way you’ll never have to choose what to get! 

Bullet Train mascott

Image: Bullet Train

Another little easter egg that showed up in the Bullet train trailer was the mask-like faces. We see two different types, kabuki masks (かぶき) and noh masks (のう). Kabuki and Noh are both traditional Japanese theaters from the 14th century that used face paint and masks in their performances. Even now you can still see similar styled shows in Japan. Now all that we have is anticipation to find other Japanese hidden traditions in the Bullet Train movie!

Make sure to grab your Japanese snacks, and get ready for the highly anticipated Bullet Train film! 


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