Delightfully bloody and fun, David Leitch’s Bullet Train brings together an ensemble of actors down for the hijinks and action for a great time at the movies.
Brad Pitt stars as Ladybug, an assassin with a string of bad luck. After a string of work-related accidental deaths, he asks his handler Beetle (Sandra Bullock) for an easy job. She gives him a job to acquire a briefcase from a Japanese bullet train. He runs into the brothers Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who have been employed to bring the suitcase and the son of a gangster known as The White Death to Kyoto.
Meanwhile, small time gangster The Father (Andrew Koji) is looking on the train for the person responsible for his son being pushed off a roof. He encounters The Prince (Joey King) on board and The Prince ropes him into a scheme to kill The White Death. All parties eventually collide onboard.
This is not the type of film where you overanalyze themes and character motivations. This is a self-contained, violent, and fun time. The action is concise and inventive, but doesn’t feel like it’s out of the realm of reality. Most of the action is punching and kicking and using objects around the environment to hurt them more.
Pitt is obviously having a blast. His enthusiasm and relaxed attitude shines through the screen. His laid back persona and general likeability go a long way towards the film’s success. Henry and Taylor-Johnson are having an equally fun time and give the film a surprising amount of heart among all the chaos.
King is the big surprise. Playing off her little-girl persona, she plays her role as the child hitman to a tee. She is given multiple opportunities to act as a different character within the film and other characters even note how good she is. I won’t spoil all of them, but there are some fun cameos on the train and in the vicinity. In addition to Bullock, Michael Shannon, Hiroyuki Sanada, Logan Lerman, musician Bad Bunny, and Zazie Beets all show up in fun smaller roles.
The chaos and action isn’t in a bubble. The comedy is on display as well. Everything Pitt says is hilarious, while the interplay between Henry and Taylor-Johnson crackles as well. There has definitely never been a movie with more Thomas the Tank Engine references.
If you are looking for a fun time that is action packed and will leave you smiling, Bullet Train is for you. Leave the kids at home and enjoy yourself.
Bullet Train is currently playing in theaters