The wacky, irreverent, edgy action-comedy Bullet Train pits the world’s deadliest assassins against each other in a bloody, battle royal. It has copious amounts of action, violence, blood, gore, and a wicked sense of humor, all of which come together to make for an entertaining film adaptation of the book Maria Beetle.
Ladybug, a down-on-his-luck hitman nicknamed Bullet Train, is at the center of the story. There is a conflict in Ladybug’s mind about his work. Even though he works in a sketchy industry, he is skilled and experienced at his job, and a pacifist by nature, never intending to harm others.
Maria assigns Ladybug a snatch and grabs job aboard a high-speed bullet train departing from Tokyo with Kyoto as its last stop, as he undergoes some life therapy. He’s unaware that the briefcase he’s been assigned to grab contains ransom money for a kidnapping involving the son of a criminal kingpin.
He is the son of a vicious, ruthless gangster nicknamed The White Death at the top of Japan’s criminal underworld. In addition to Lemon and Tangerine, two other hitmen have rescued and transported the Son aboard the train.
Lemon and Tangerine find themselves in bad news when Ladybug snatches the briefcase and the kingpin’s son that they were supposed to deliver back to the White Death. Despite Lemon and Tangerine’s best efforts, their plans soon go awry, and they are left to tackle this comedy of errors on their own. A growing number of shady individuals board the train, making things more hectic.
The Prince lured Kimura, a grieving father, aboard the train after she attempted to murder the boy’s father, putting the boy in the hospital. Using Kimura’s son as a hostage, the Prince gains Kimura’s compliance in an elaborate plot. Also aboard the train is a cartel hitman named Wolf, who is seeking revenge, along with a highly venomous snake stolen from the nearby zoo.
From there, things get even crazier. There is a strong sense of energy throughout Bullet Train derived from its source material. Adding dynamic energy to the film is the bullet train and a unique cadre of super assassins. As a thriller, it is not gritty or gritty. In Bullet Train, realism is not a goal. The tone is sometimes wacky, live-action cartoonish.
At other times, it plays like a Japanese seinen manga filled with action. The action begins to ramp up once the bullet train leaves the station and heads toward Kyoto. At the end of the movie, Leitch shows no sense of restraint as he launches into a balls-to-the-wall finale.
Bullet Train has one detriment: it overly relies on the action since it tends to lean on the outrageous and over-the-top. After the third act, Bullet Train becomes too long and drawn out. Although there are many plot threads at work, they almost tangle and the plot falls short of collapsing. Zak Olkewicz crafts a clever, fun script that solves puzzles piece by piece.
In the film, the audience isn’t constantly lectured. In addition, it gleefully rewards the audience for paying attention as the puzzle pieces fit together. It turns out to be an entertaining, action-packed romp thanks to the clever script and talented, game cast.
David Leitch is a director who grew up as a stuntman, so he is well-versed in staging big action scenes, even if they can sometimes feel excessive. A well-staged action scene and dynamic characters make Bullet Train a fun experience, especially because all the assassins are unique and identifiable.
There is a problem with the premise of a Russian gangster taking over the Japanese Yakuza as The White Death as that gangster works his way up. As the film takes place in an overly quirky, hyper-realized reality, that idea may be more plausible. In their roles as The Elder and Kimura, Hiroyuki Sanada and Andrew Koji deliver strong performances.
Despite the chaos bubbling throughout this story, these characters’ character arcs demonstrate empathetic qualities. Hopefully, Koji will continue to get better roles on the big screen after his disappointing experience with Storm Shadow. As Ladybug, Pitt is put upon and infinitely beleaguered, which makes her roles all the more enjoyable and well cast.
He is a very laid-back, chill, and charismatic jack of all trades, and Pitt’s charisma and personality go very well with him. Also, Johnson and Tyree Henry are great together as the idiosyncratic hitmen Lemon and Tangerine.
An action-packed ride with impressive visuals and a high body count, Bullet Train is wild, irreverent, and action-packed. Late summer moviegoers will enjoy this entertaining surprise for a fun night out.
Dakota Cameron is a seasoned web content writer and covers the Hollywood movies for the MovieThop Website
Ms. Cameron began his professional life as a freelance blogger. Later, he worked for Witbe as a content writer for two years. His interests include blogging, reading, movies and travel.
Ms. Cameron graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication from University State of Georgia University. He is fluent in French, Spanish, and other languages.