The contract killer vs. The assassin subsection of the action genre is one that rarely deviates from its fairly tried-and-true formula; in addition to a strong injection of money and a star-studded cast, something as recent as Netflix’s throwaway action film the gray man it’s proof that the genre, even in 2022, seems comfortable resting on its laurels.
Thanks to god that Bullet train decides to have a little fun with the tropes of the genre, maybe even too much fun, as a director david leitch (Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde, hobbs and shaw) goes with everything in this absolutely chaotic amalgam of gum and blood between American and Japanese. He’s brutally over the top and impossibly stupid, but he’s fully self-aware as such, so he gets away with it in the name of fun.
based on Kotarou IsakaThe Japanese novel “Maria Beetle”, Bullet train she leans into her source material as much as she hones her own personality, slotting into the titular location as the reformed assassin Ladybug (Brad Pitthaving an absolute ball of a time), under the impression of his stern voice controller (a mostly invisible Sandra Bullock) that his latest job will be a simple robbery and grab, he learns that his murderous presence comes with its own violent baggage. There is, of course, the literal luggage that is Ladybug’s main target, a suitcase full of cash, but as she wanders through the train cars at full speed, it becomes abundantly clear that she’s not the only employee ready to shoot first. . and ask questions later.
Except Ladybug would love to ask questions first. Not only is he reformed, he’s practically a Zen master, spouting “new me” nonsense that might be completely insufferable if Pitt weren’t so bombasticly charming and comically capable. He is the calm in a train of erupting storms, like the British “Tangerine brothers” (Aaron Taylor Johnsona standout) and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry), the deceptively dangerous Prince (joey king), the vindictive Kimura (Andrew Koji), and the Mexican pistol El Lobo (Benito A Martinez Ocasioalias bad bunny) all weaving their violent agendas everywhere.
In a big, noisy movie like this, a lot of gamers can feel lost in the shuffle, and I haven’t even mentioned the involvement of Michael Shannon, Zazie Beetz, Logan Lerman Y Hiroyuki Sanada – but somehow, Zak OlkewiczThe script mainly controls the chaotic madness. There’s an occasional tweaked character and some cut exposition scenes, but he’s infectious enough to get away with it, especially with the way he introduces the train itself, almost creating it as his own character with a varied personality to boot; a “silent car” sequence allows for a particularly amusing action sequence that suspends belief between Ladybug and Lemon, while another moment offers a particularly amusing cameo depicting a kind of brief reunion for Pitt and a former co-star.
Considering what Leitch has offered as an action director in the past (the filmmaker was a former stuntman), it makes sense that he would draw inspiration from blockbuster properties, here seemingly leaning toward the work of Jackie Chan and film. Predominantly Asian to the present. precise action sequences that are as brutally efficient as they are humorous.
The sheer volume and lack of subtlety displayed here mean Bullet train It’ll be exhausting for some but exciting for others, and comparisons to the likes of Tarantino, Guy Ritchie and James Gunn seem inevitable – Lemon and Tangerine feel like characters straight out of Ritchie’s page, but when the genre airs so often. of predictability, you have to give it to Leitch and company. for creating something really as wild and unbridled as this. I personally agree with this nonsense and would happily return for repeat trips.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
4K SPECIAL FEATURES
Enhanced by a Dolby Atmos track and Dolby Vision pass-through that brings this film’s audio and visual palette to life in stunning neon hues. Bullet train it is by far a film that benefits from the packaged sensibility of a physical disc.
Many of the extras are of significant length, often ranging from 3-7 minutes, but they all at least carry on the movie’s mentality that it was an absolute ball to work on. Catch What You Missed: Easter Eggs (4 minutes) is a nice little nugget for die-hard fans detailing certain ingredients sprinkled throughout the film; Trained Professionals: The Cast (7 minutes), All Aboard the Pain Train: Stunts (5 minutes), and Mission Accomplished: Making of Bullet Train (6 minutes) are behind-the-scenes segments that are self-explanatory and mildly entertaining as they touch the surface of the film’s work; and the Outtake and Bloopers The reel (3 minutes), again, highlights the evident camaraderie captured on set.
the Select Trick Scene (4 minutes) is a previous segment that could have benefited from more research, detailing the concept videos and comparing them to the final shots of the film, but, without a doubt, Bullet trainThe most valuable addition to is the director’s commentary david leitchproducer kelly mccormick and screenwriter Zak Olkewiczwhere the trio dive into the origins of the source material, the cast and the effects in a highly engaging and informative manner.
THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Bullet train is now available to purchase on DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD via kicks.