Photo: ouTube/ソニー・ピクチャーズ
entertainment

Japanese fans react to new trailer of 'Bullet Train' starring Brad Pitt

23 Comments
By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

Anything Brad Pitt stars in turns to gold in Japan, where the actor is known by the shortened nickname "Burapi." So when fans viewed the brand new trailer for the upcoming movie "Bullet Train," it caused a huge buzz online.

▼ Check out the Japanese trailer for the film below (same as the overseas trailer, but with Japanese subtitles).

Based on the 2010 novel "Maria Beetle" by Japanese author Kotaro Isaka, the original story is set in Japan, with a lot of the action taking place on a bullet train traveling north from Tokyo to Morioka, in Iwate Prefecture.

▼ In real life, the journey takes around two hours and 20 minutes by bullet train.

Screen-Shot-2022-03-04-at-7.29.57.png

With the novel being adapted for the screen by screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, we’re yet to find out how much of a departure the movie will be from the original novel. However, the trailer released today gave us a look at some of the changes, one of which is that the bullet train in the movie isn’t like the one in the novel, nor is it like the ones in Japan.

▼ The movie bullet train is called the “Nippon Speed line," and it was introduced in this clever bit of marketing on Feb 25.

The Nippon Speed Line does take its design cues from the long-nosed bullet trains that run on the Tohoku Shinkansen line from Tokyo through to Morioka and beyond, albeit with a different color scheme.

Tohoku-Shinkansen.jpg
Photo: Pakutaso

However, the trailer reveals that the train in the movie is headed in the other direction to the one in the novel, going from Tokyo through to Shin-Osaka instead. How do we know that? Well, for starters, the trailer opens with a scene of the bullet train hurtling past Mt Fuji, which is south of Tokyo, not north, and then there’s the fact that it says “Shin-Osaka” on the digital display on the outside of the train.

Bullet-Train-Brad-Pitt-trailer-movie-Japan-Tokyo-Shinkansen-Maria-Beetle-novel-Kotaro-Isaka-video-news-6.jpg

▼ …and inside as well.

Bullet-Train-Brad-Pitt-trailer-movie-Japan-Tokyo-Shinkansen-Maria-Beetle-novel-Kotaro-Isaka-video-news-.jpg

Why the change in locations for the movie? Well, aside from the fact that it allows the director to slot in that gratuitous “we’re in Japan” Mt Fuji shot, the journey from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka takes around two and a half hours by bullet train, so there’s not much difference to the time schedule for the action to take place. Plus, it’s a well-worn route taken by international visitors wanting to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto, which amps up the appeal for audiences.

Some other interesting things to note from the trailer include:

-- The “Quiet Car” on the train, which doesn’t exist in Japan, although carriages are generally quiet anyway

-- The Japanese lockers that do exist at stations, although not right on the platform, like the ones Pitt runs from to board the train

-- The Rakuen Exciting Amusement logo, for a pachinko parlor chain that really does exist in Japan, appears outside the window as Pitt’s character uses the briefcase to fight off another assassin

-- The back-to-front “お弁当” (obento) on a yellow sign on a pillar in the middle of the platform, which reads incorrectly, as if you’re looking at it in a mirror.

▼ The yellow sign in the middle should have お at the top, followed by 弁 and 当 underneath it.

Bullet-Train-Brad-Pitt-trailer-movie-Japan-Tokyo-Shinkansen-Maria-Beetle-novel-Kotaro-Isaka-video-news-8.jpg

The Japan in the movie is an amped-up version of the real thing, featuring all sorts of “Cool Japan” elements you’d expect a big Hollywood version to latch onto. Demon masks? Check. Polite trolley cart lady on the bullet train? Check. A walk though Akihabara at night? Check. Sakura petals falling upon yakuza with samurai swords? Check.

▼ Oh, and Brad Pitt punching a mascot character? Check.

Bullet-Train-Brad-Pitt-trailer-movie-Japan-Tokyo-Shinkansen-Maria-Beetle-novel-Kotaro-Isaka-video-news-10.jpg

So what do people in Japan think about the version of Japan shown in the trailer? Let’s take a look at some of their comments below:

“It has a completely different atmosphere to the original, but I’m looking forward to it.”

“It’s different from my imagination, but I want to see it!”

“I love the cyberpunk style Tokyo they create for overseas audiences. It’s not the real Japan, but it makes me feel like I’m watching the Japan of the future.”

“It’s been ‘Hollywoodized’ with a good feeling!!!”

“It’s not the same as the original, but it seems to have been adapted for Hollywood without ruining Isaka’s style.”

And what does the original author himself think of the film? He wrote this handwritten message, which has been shared by Sony Pictures:

Screen-Shot-2022-03-04-at-7.36.42.png

The message reads:

“What’s this Japan!? Even though I was surprised, I was excited by the gorgeous actors and their energetic, violent scenes! I hope it will be a fun movie that will drive away dark feelings!”

With people in Japan, including the author of the original novel, throwing their support behind the Hollywood version, it looks like the film will be a hit when it’s released here later this year.

Burapi’s still got his golden touch.

Source: YouTube/ソニー・ピクチャーズ 映画 via Net Lab

Insert images: YouTube/ソニー・ピクチャーズ unless otherwise stated

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Hello Kitty Shinkansen Cafe: A delicious stop on the most kawaii bullet train in Japan

-- Faster! Japan’s Shinkansen to get speed boost along Tohoku route

-- Now bullet train geeks can ride the rare, top-secret “Doctor Yellow” train

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments
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Trailer looks really cool!

I will defenitely watch it!

But yes, it is for sure hollywoodized, but who cares, it is just entertainment.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Hear hear Monty

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Love Dana Carvey's church lady in the first scene.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The trailer was actually very impressive. It has been persuasively edited. Let's hope that the movie is a true reflection of this.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I've never understood the need of Japanese to be nervous about a Hollywood movie that depicts or takes part in Japan, then either feel pride about it, or decry it as depicting Japan in a poor light. I've never met a nation of people that need more affirmation from others, or that get so offended if they perceive even the slightest slight. If it's a good flick it'll be a good flick -- that's not going to change if Pitt lavishes praise on Japanese tech, or utters how the French express trains are better.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

I've never understood the need of Japanese to be nervous about a Hollywood movie that depicts or takes part in Japan, then either feel pride about it, or decry it as depicting Japan in a poor light. I've never met a nation of people that need more affirmation from others, or that get so offended if they perceive even the slightest slight. If it's a good flick it'll be a good flick -- that's not going to change if Pitt lavishes praise on Japanese tech, or utters how the French express trains are better.

I would agree, but Hollywood has the tendency to cut corners and to focus more on time and money which are the overall main goals of MOST movie makers (quantity over quality) and because the books from which these movies are largely based on have to be cut and a lot ends up revised, remade, certain characters taken away or even changed or created. Look at Game of Thrones. Overall the show was great until Season 4 and after that it all went downhill. I think I’m order to bring a great book story to life is to spend more time on the story, be a fan, understand it’s fanbase and what makes the story so popular and then try to create a story and stay close to it as possible. Not everyone is talented like Jackson or Del Toro.

Also people should never go in with the expectation in comparing it that the movie will be exactly like the book, it won’t and if you go in with that critical outlook, you can probably enjoy the movie and take it for what it is.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Is the sign really wrong? If it's one of those translucent fabric flag-like signs that you often see outside of shops, we could just be seeing it from the back.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Trailer looks really cool!

Did we watch the same trailer? This looks absolutely terrible. Why does Japanese countryside look like Arizona?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

The “Quiet Car” on the train, which doesn’t exist in Japan, although carriages are generally quiet anyway.

Generally quiet? Yeah maybe. But I've had some shocking bullet train rides with loud obnoxious drunks and women clapping and laughing raucously non stop for two hours.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Did we watch the same trailer? This looks absolutely terrible.

I watched the youtube trailer. I don't know which one you watched.

But anyway people have different taste in movies. And I like Brad Pitt.

Why does Japanese countryside look like Arizona?

I have never been in Arizona, so no idea if japanese countryside looks same like Arizona.

But I like japanese countryside.

I am a big city fan, but japanese countryside with all it's Onsen and delicious local food and Local Sake is always nice for a weekend trip.

Are there Onsen and Good food and local Sake in Arizona too?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I've never met a nation of people that need more affirmation from others, or that get so offended if they perceive even the slightest slight.

I guess you have never heard of China, Korea, and even India (just off the top of my head).

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Definitely not whitewashing or pushing white messiah complex like The Last Samurai.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

SO....did Brad go to Isolation / Quarantine and WAIT 14 days before going out anywhere ?

Did he download the BigBrother App ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Given what's available on Netflix and other streaming channels, it's amazing these movies even get made.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Exclusively in theatres. I'll pass and wait when it's streamed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Looks like a fun movie!

My first thought on seeing the short trailer that's a promo for the train is that the new "Nippon Speed Line" in real life, the maglev Shinkansen, will spend 90% of the time in tunnels or behind soundproofing barriers. There will be no tranquil views of the countryside.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Life in the Fast Lane...Oh well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lol a bit of stupid fun … relax

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've never understood the need of Japanese to be nervous about a Hollywood movie that depicts or takes part in Japan, then either feel pride about it, or decry it as depicting Japan in a poor light. 

Every country is sensitive of how Hollywood portrays their country/culture.

The entire world watches Hollywood movies, and I dare say, more people get their impression of Japan from Hollywood than TOHO.

Lets say the roles were reversed, and Japan has the biggest global media empire, rivaled by none.

Would you be satisfied by how Japan depicts your country? What if Japan replaced all the American characters with Russian actors speaking in Russian accents? What if they made LA and San Antonio look like they were only a 20 minute drive apart?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I couldn't even get through the trailer, that movie looks so bad.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Looks seriously ridiculous, but Brad Pitt brings a lot of humor, so it might be fun. I live in Morioka, though, and am a little bummed they didn't keep the original destination. We have our own very picturesque volcano here that would have looked great on screen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Polite trolley cart lady on the bullet train?

Funny, I took a number of bullet train journeys while in Japan and the "trolley cart lady" never stopped near me and could not get past me fast enough. Do not know if it was because she did not speak English but the look I always got was "dont stop me please".

Although they seemed pleasant enough to the Japanese customers. I got suspicious sideways glances as they passed me.

Having said that, I learned before my first trip to take my own food and drinks and fell in love with the options of ekiben at each boarding station. I certainly enjoyed the journeys, the meals and the beautiful scenery of the Japanese countryside and cities. A great location (shinkansen) for a movie.

I will watch this movie to do a little reminiscing of my own (less action packed) trips through Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It looks great when a foreigner beats off countless numbers of Japanese assassins but the reality is that Pitt would be surrounded in minutes by police -real life sucks!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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