David Leitch’s Bullet Train is a fusion of some of Japan & America’s greatest & unique films. The film is based on a dark comedy novel that Kōtarō Isaka wrote in 2010. The novel followed several assassins aboard a Tohoku Shinkansen Hayate train. Each assassin has an interconnected mission that has them gunning for each other.
The film differs from the novel slightly but stays within the vein of the novel. The film stars Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Benito A Martínez Ocasio, & Sandra Bullock. The cast was terrific; there wasn’t one weak link in this lineup. The film follows Ladybug, an unlucky assassin determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs gone off the rails. However, as luck has it, Ladybug’s recent mission puts him in the middle of an interconnected mission between deadly assassins on the same train brought together by his unlucky fate.
Bullet Train brings together comedy, amazing music, stunning visuals & a unique & satisfying story. There is little to not like in this film. Pitt’s easygoing, sarcastic & butt-kicking character keeps you thoroughly entertained, but it’s Henry & Taylor-Johnson, who play twin brothers who are hitmen, that truly steal the show here. From the time they’re introduced to the end of the ride, they’ll keep you laughing out loud with their banter. The chemistry these two had onscreen doesn’t seem forced & the fleshed-out story that these two share hits home.
Andrew Koji & Hiroyuki Sanada, who play father & son, were the glue that ultimately brought the pieces together. Shannon plays the main antagonist, a Russian crime boss, while King plays a British assassin whose schoolgirl attire helps her fly under the radar. King’s character was forgettable at times & that can be because her character had little to do & was overshadowed by the rest of the cast.
Zak Olkewicz’s script is a piece of art. Yes, it does get a bit goofy, but that’s what makes it so much fun. The film is a mixture of 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, Deadpool & Battle Royale, which can be a hard sell, but Olkewicz makes it land perfectly; however, the film does drag a bit in the final act.
The music here is well-placed & fits every scene perfectly! From Miki Asakura’s Holding Out for a Hero (Dance Version) to Song For Memories Five Hundred Miles, the music helps tell a story within a story & adds to the action or emotional pieces.
Having Feitch helm this film was a perfect choice. Leitch directed Deadpool 2, John Wick, Atomic Blonde & Hobbs & Shaw & 2021’s Nobody & you can see pieces of each film inside Bullet Train.
Bullet Train is an emotional roller coaster jam-packed with action, bright colors & spot-on humor.