Bullet Train Review – Is This Ride Worth It?

David Leitch’s latest film, Bullet Train, rolls into the station on August 5th, but is it worth the ride? Bullet Train Review

When I got on the bullet train, I didn’t know what to expect. While I kept seeing people cheering the trailers with excitement, I wasn’t entirely thrilled as this crazy style of filming doesn’t always appeal to me. I kept watching the trailers and kept thinking that while it seemed like a fun movie, Bullet Train wasn’t something I would fall in love with.

I’m here to tell you that I absolutely adore Bullet Train and think it’s been an absolutely amazing ride the whole time. I walked into the film and was immediately drawn to the whimsical style of the film, which I wasn’t sure I would enjoy. Then, while distracted by the instantly likeable style and cast, I found myself caught up in a surprisingly intricate plot full of fantastic twists and turns.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

About Bullet Train Review

Bullet Train is based on a book by Kotaro Isaka and stars Brad Pitt as a man codenamed Ladybug, an hapless assassin who comes out of retirement to find a briefcase on a bullet train. However, his mission becomes complicated after Ladybug discovers that other people on the train also want the briefcase, causing their paths to cross.

The passengers on the bullet train are fantastic, with an all-star cast going all out in terms of performance. With fantastic acting and an outstanding story, each character becomes instantly likable, leaving you at a loss as to who to support as their interests conflict over the mysterious briefcase.

One of the things that makes the story stand out is how it all comes together so beautifully in the final act of the film. There isn’t a single frame in the story that doesn’t add purpose to the entire narrative. At the end, when everything that didn’t make sense finally makes sense, it gives the audience a tremendous sense of realization.

Bullet Train
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Unfortunately, Bullet Train’s weakest point is the lead actor, Brad Pitt himself, which, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying his character or acting is bad at all. Essentially, he’s easily outshined by the other characters in the film as they all offer something far more unique and lovable than Pitt’s ladybug. Whenever the focus shifted back to his character I was a bit disappointed as I found it much more fun following the rest of the cast. On a positive note, Ladybug never takes center stage for too long. Though he undoubtedly stars as the lead, the eclectic cast of personalities that make up the rest of the train’s passengers feel just as important and important to the film as he does.

However, one of the downsides of such a good cast of characters is that you can’t help but walk away from the film feeling a sense of disappointment that more screen time wasn’t allocated to the peripheral characters. Several characters throughout the film also left far too soon, which while disappointing is a minor gripe and is overshadowed by how good the other characters are that are getting more screen time.

Bullet Train
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Bullet Train’s standout characters are without a doubt Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Lemon and Tangerine, respectively. The chemistry between these two actors is great as the two are able to deliver some laugh-inducing, hilarious moments along with moments that are way more serious.

Other characters worth mentioning are Hiroyuki Sanada and Andrew Koji as a father and son with a lot of baggage, along with Joey King as The Prince, an assassin disguised as a cute young girl. Sanada and Koji put on heartbreaking performances, while King is a total badass whose motives are unpredictable. The story with its characters seems completely random and unrelated to the main plot of the film; However, once you realize how their characters fit with the rest of the film, it’s incredibly satisfying. Speaking of which, satisfying is probably one of the best words to describe the character arcs and overall story because that’s how it feels at the end.

Just aside, there are some cameos in this movie that are some of the most surprising and awesome cameos I’ve seen in a long time. People in my audience laughed, and some even cheered for the cameos. So if you can/want to, try to stay away from spoilers as much as possible as the shock of the cameos is part of the fun.

Bullet Train
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

If you want to see the bullet train I definitely recommend seeing it at the cinema which is the biggest screen you can get your hands on as the shots of the bullet train from the outside look stunning on the big screen. I saw the film in the IMAX, which made the bullet train feel even longer and gave the feeling of actually being on the train, or at least being able to easily imagine yourself on the train.

The only complaint I have about the film’s visuals is that the final moments are quite distracting since the green screen visuals are so obvious. Luckily, at this point, the story grabbed you enough that the distracting graphics didn’t distract me for long.

Bullet Train
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Bullet Train is quickly establishing itself as a whimsical and stylistic action film, but thankfully it’s so much more than that. It may have been a two-hour film, but like a real bullet train, the pace at which the film moves is lightning fast. Finally, the film also has a fantastic storyline with a cast of characters who are all incredibly unique and exciting in their own right, making for a film that is a thoroughly entertaining ride from start to finish of the track.

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