David Leitch quickly managed to squiggle his way into the directing world with an uncredited directing role on the first John Wick. Since then, he has gone onto direct as part of some of the biggest franchises including directing Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw, as well as directing Atomic Blonde. His career is very stunts based, having his first stunt credit in 1995 on Sherman Oaks. We’ve seen from his work that he can make solid action films, with lots of inventive and creative action set pieces and scenes. His latest film involves the 99% of those scenes taking place on a Bullet Train in Japan.
Bullet Train stars Brad Pitt as Ladybug, an assassin who is tasked with the mission of getting hold of a briefcase which is onboard a Bullet Train. The only downside for Ladybug is that he isn’t the only person wanting to get his hands on the case and its contents.
It’s hard to guess what people expected this film realistically to be. Coming in at just over 2 hours, you’re expecting some non-stop action, with little breaks to give the audience a breather. I’m almost thinking The Raid, but on a train. And it’s not that at all. There’s a lot more sitting and talking than I expected to set up the backstories going on which, to be honest, I don’t think was needed at all. I get that you need to get a story going, but there’s almost too much going on and makes the film more convoluted than it needs to be. Going back to John Wick, it’s a very simple film, a perfect example of one at that, and I think Bullet Train could’ve done with being a bit more simple and letting the audience just delve into the world without having everything explained for us, letting our imagination fill in the blanks.
While we are on the topic of the script, it’s worth saying this movie has a sense of humour, plenty of jokes, some of which land and some of which just either fly straight over your head or just straight up aren’t as funny as they think they are.
The cast is solid. I wouldn’t pin point Pitt as the standout, however, despite him probably having a good time shooting this one. I think Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a very underrated actor. He’s made a habit over the last couple of years of just popping up in small roles in big films such as Tenet and The King’s Man, with the latter probably being more that he was eyed up for a sequel, and we will, of course, see him as Kraven the Hunter in Sony’s bizarre Spider-Man universe. To me he suits this film a lot more than most of the other casting. I’d honestly only say Taylor-Johnson, Bad Bunny (who we will also see in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe as El Muerto), Andrew Koji and Hiroyuki Sanada suited this film. Pitt, you could give or take because his character didn’t fit for me. Joey King, I’m not particularly a big fan of anyway, and found her accent annoying, and her character just felt jarring and never actually felt like a threat. Brian Tyree Henry I like a lot as an actor, but his accent in this film was ridiculous, yes, intentionally so, I have no doubt, but it’s distracting.
Overall, Bullet Train is an okay action film, that dwindles too much in the story going on than letting you enjoy the action sequences which, to be fair, do peak at the end of the film. There’s a sense of humour that won’t be for everyone and a lot of blood, so some people will find it one of the weakest of the year, but others will have a lot of fun.
What did you think of Bullet Train?
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