You may have seen a trailer for a relatively new action movie on Netfllix named Kate, in which a pink kaido racer speed through the streets of Tokyo. The right car will definitely draw us into a film, and a caged 330 Nissan Cedric in an American movie presses all those buttons. Sadly, despite its prominence in the trailer, the car has very little to do with the actual story.
Kate is about an assassin (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) operating in Japan. On her last job she’s poisoned, and goes on a violent revenge spree to track down the culprit before time runs out. This isn’t spoiling anything; it’s all right there in the trailer and the first few minutes of the movie.
The car shows up fairly early too, if you want to watch just that scene. Basically, Kate steals it as she’s running from a crew of yakuza after a failed hit. However, the plot hole here is that they have no idea she’s the assassin and have already passed her once. So what does the movie have her do? Attract the attention of everyone by stealing the most conspicuous getaway car on the planet.
It’s totaled moments later (don’t worry, it’s just CGI) and that’s the last we see of the Cedric. Sadly, most of the writing is similarly incongruous. When Kate goes after one mob boss in the middle of the film, she does so surreptitiously as to not alert him to her presence and give him a chance to escape. But when it comes time to go after the same guy for the big finale, she marches in to the building, Matrix-style, mowing down floors and floors of bad guys.
As for the car, it’s actually a decent portrayal of a kaido racer. It has a shakotan stance, an oil cooler, nekome-ish headlights, a half cage, and fender flares. However, you can kind of see the areas where producers purposefully tried to “crazy Japan” it up with all the underglow, bigger wheels (which extend beyond the fenders, a no-no), modern GT wing risers, and an ill-fitting chin spoiler.
Actually, the car is a pretty good metaphor for the movie itself. It was shot in Japan and has every Japan thing you can think of — neon lights, yakuza, skyscrapers, nightclubs, swords, houses full of shoji. But ultimately, it’s heavy on style (even if it doesn’t really make sense for the story) and low on substance.
Excellent, I think I might make a big bowl of Ramen and line up a few Mochi balls for dessert and watch this tonight. Thanks for the tip. I’ll decide if it’s worth continuing to watch the whole thing for the “culture” once the food is gone…