Some stellar big ticket Hollywood films were filmed on buses, with the bus being an integral part of the storyline. We trace some of these stories.

Over the decades, Hollywood has been the undisputed monarch of the global film world. Though film industries around the world may arguably churn out comparable content, Hollywood still reigns supreme in terms of themes, special effects, and storytelling.

While Hollywood films are big on romance and fantasy, another popular genre – action – sees some of the most high profile content as well. Major film studios invest heavily in action films, with superheroes and chilling crimes leading the story. Car and bus chases are par for the course in these movies – throw in gun battles and explosions, and you’ve got a blockbuster on your hands.

But in recent years, other genres have also set their storylines inside buses and vans. The following are 5 recent films set with a bus as an integral part of the plot:

Expedition Happiness (2017):

This Netflix special traces the journey of a young couple seeking adventure in their lives. A filmmaker hops on to a refurbished school bus with his musician girlfriend and their dog. They wish to travel all across North America in their bus, to make more sense of their lives.

Heist (2015):

Luke Vaughn is in desperate need of $300,000 to treat his sick daughter. The casino worker approaches his boss for a loan, but is summarily fired and also beaten up by goons. A rival casino worker approaches Vaughn and they hatch a plan to rob the casino of the money they launder for the mafia. Accordingly, they steal $300,000 and are forced to hijack a city passenger bus to escape from the scene. The film largely pursues a chase-and-shoot graph, with many thrilling inter-State scenes and some clever dialogue.

Into The Wild (2007):

Arriving alone and penniless in Alaska, Christopher McCandless travels deep into the wilderness and sets up a campsite, setting up a base in an abandoned city bus. He spends all his time reading on the bus, or going out to hunt with his .22 caliber rifle, and writing in his diary. What is not immediately known, is that two years previously, the honors student has rejected his worldly life, donated all his savings and set off on a cross country jaunt of isolation without informing his family.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006):

Olive Hoover is a slightly overweight adolescent who aspires to be a beauty queen – and who is chosen for ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, a beauty pageant for little girls. Since her (largely dysfunctional) family comprising her overworked parents, her stepbrother who is on a vow of silence, an uncle who is recovering from an attempted suicide, and a foul-mouthed grandfather, cannot afford to fly to the event in California, they make a road trip in their Volvo passenger van. The road trip becomes an epic journey of epiphanies and the realisation of many home truths.

Speed (1994):

A thriller with high speed chases and enough adrenaline to fuel an entire movie theatre, Speed was essentially a rescue mission film in which an LAPD cop tries to rescue civilians trapped on a city bus. The bus is rigged with a bomb that can blow up if the bus slows below 50 mph – so the bus must keep going at blood chilling speeds if everyone is to survive. Most of the film is shot on a large Transit Bus, and it is a breath-taking ride.

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