“Bullet Train” is an entertaining action movie that delivers!
Synopsis: Five assassins aboard a fast-moving bullet train find out their missions have something in common.
Director: David Leitch
Stars: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry
In the trailer, the Bee Gees' song Stayin' Alive plays in the background, perfectly fitting the movie about a group of people trying to survive. Among them is ‘Ladybug,’ the code name for Brad Pitt’s character. Ladybug is going through something of a transitional period. He doesn’t want to be violent anymore; he is looking for more inner peace, more ‘zen’ in his life. The only issue, he’s an assassin who is brought in for another job. His therapist doesn’t want him to be violent, so he decides not to use guns. ‘Does he know what you do for a living?” his handler asks.
His goal is simple, get on the train and get the briefcase. The only issue for Ladybug is that several people on the train have a vested interest in said briefcase.
We are introduced to a slew of very interesting characters, including ‘Lemon’ and ‘Tangerine’ (Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson). They are brothers and have their own need to secure the mysterious briefcase. In addition to being assassins, they are also very entertaining.
The train is moving at high speed, and so does this film. This movie does a lot very well: it does a great job of character development, and the backstory sequences are very entertaining. At just over two hours, the movie doesn’t feel long. I was thoroughly entertained throughout it.
Brad Pitt carries a lot of this film, but the entertainment is dispersed throughout the cast that includes, Joey King, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Logan Lerman, to name a few. I had seen the trailer some time ago, and I would recommend not watching it before you go to see the movie in the theatre for the simple fact that I had forgotten how many known actors are in it; I appreciated being surprised when they arrived on screen. The film also has several very entertaining cameos that were timed perfectly.
My main gripe with Bullet Train is that it’s advertised as an IMAX movie, and it isn’t. It may have had an impact on sound but what I saw wasn’t an IMAX print. That is a pain point as you pay a premium for IMAX, and most of the time, you see films that may have a scene or two in IMAX but not the majority of the movie. Can we agree that if your name isn’t Christopher Nolan or Denis Villeneuve, stop promoting IMAX? That last statement may not be fair, but name me another director who can utilize IMAX as effectively. . . Ok, rant over.
Bullet Train is a fun movie. Some won’t like it, but I suspect those are the same people who would have criticized Robert DeNiro for appearing in Dirty Grandpa. Brad Pitt is an Oscar winner, not the only one in this movie, and I feel he should have the freedom to explore the projects he wants. In this, he has chosen a very entertaining summer blockbuster. The last film he was the lead in was Ad Astra (2019). Oh, give me Bullet Train all day!
The action sequences in this movie are done very well; the comedic moments are on point.
The supporting cast also delivers. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is an underrated actor but such a chameleon. He seems to be in the ‘Stanley Tucci’ club of acting, where he takes on multiple roles and effortlessly transforms into the character he is playing. His body of work is impressive, and while this is more on the comedic action side, he was still notable. His film ‘brother’ Tyree Henry also deserves recognition for his work in this film. Tyree Henry’s resume is equally remarkable, and this film shows more layers to his talent.
While this is an action movie, I loved listening to these characters talk. I enjoyed seeing the story unfold. What is it that binds these characters together? You can feel an influence from films by Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie, to name a few, but Leitch has carved out his own niche.
Bullet Train delivered exactly what I was hoping for, an entertaining action movie. I laughed, jumped at parts with excitement, and left the theatre feeling satisfied with what I saw. Is it for everyone? Maybe, maybe not, but it was definitely for me.
Watch the movie trailer:
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