Bullet Train: A bullet to the head

Bullet Train is an action comedy from David Leitch of Deadpool 2 and John Wick fame. So you know what you’re in for. Action, action, and more action. If feels like the bastard child of Snatch, Kill Bill and Deadpool (without the 4th wall breaking). It also has a really interesting cast, lead by Brad Pitt.

The last time I saw a movie with Pitt in, was Lost City. And, like Lost City, he’s joined by Sandra Bullock again (and another form that movie, but I won’t ruin it). Bullet Train is loosely based on the Japanese novel Maria Beetle by Kōtarō Isaka. The film takes place on a bullet train (surprise!) with a group of assassins all trying to get a suitcase.

Pitt, who plays a semi-retired assassin who has turned to enlightenment as he thinks he’s bad luck, is joined by a pretty diverse cast. In fact, it’s so diverse it caused a bit of controversy for whitewashing as the book only has Japanese characters.

bullet train duo

We’ve got two Brits, who play out like characters from Snatch, with dialogue that I really enjoyed. Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Tangerine and his ‘twin’ brother Brian Tyree Henry as Lemon, are superb and work as a great support team for Pitt’s Ladybug character. Andrew Koji, from Warrior, is a father pushed to do things to save his son from the naughty Joey King, who plays Prince, a psychotic young killer who has some serious daddy issues. And then there are a few others who I will leave out of this quick review so that there is actually some story to look forward to. I say that as there really isn’t much story in this film. Flashbacks, yes, heavily stylised scenes, yes. Story, umm.

bullet train cast

All the cameos

There are a ton of cameos in the film. Some I know of, others, like Benito A. Martínez Ocasio, I had never even heard of before (he’s a rapper). They all are all larger than life, larger than reality and are very much caricatures. The story, well, there really isn’t much focus on story. This is all about execution (excuse the pun) and visuals. The fight scenes are brilliant. Of course they are, they’re directed by a stunt performer!

Leitch manages to nail the visual side of things in Bullet Train. But almost to the point where he’s saying ‘oi! Look at me, I frigging rock!’ It’s a rollercoaster ride that is frantic, fast, and will have you panting. The soundtrack is equally as good, with old school songs translated into Japanese to give it a more local spin.

Bullet train assassins

You wot, mate?

Bullet Train is a violent film, like Kill Bill. There are severed arms, torsos and brains getting splattered, all over the place. Projectile vomiting blood? Got that! Snake bites? We got that too! It’s jam packed with so much stuff you’ll miss things if you blink. It’s film that many won’t like Which is why it’s sitting on something like 53% on RT. Indeed, when I left the cinema, two older people commented ‘well I won’t be going to watch that again’. And I can see why. This movie is about energy, and if you don’t have it, you might get left behind. For me though, this is a blast to watch with friends.

I give Bullet Train a…

7/10

While it’s lacking in character development and a complex story, it’s a heap of fun. Brad Pitt carries the film along with a fine cast of other fun characters

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