Bright, bodacious and bloody… that’s Bullet Train. The latest film from Sony Pictures is such a fun ride that fans of action comedies should flock to the cinema immediately. Bullet Train follows Ladybug, an unlucky assassin played by Brad Pitt – who’s clearly in his element and is having the time of his life with this role.
Ladybug is tasked with a simple mission: aboard a bullet train headed for Kyoto, locate a silver briefcase and steal it. But Ladybug soon finds out that his mission is not as easy as it seems as there are other assassins also on the train, with missions of their own to complete.
Slick, colourful and stylised, the cinematography and direction are stunning; kudos to director David Leitch. And the blood-soaked fight scenes are incredibly innovative, which is a delightful surprise considering the large number of films that have had fight scenes in them; you’d think every way a fight could possibly be choreographed would have already been done but Bullet Train proves that thought wrong.
The film follows an array of fun but oddball characters who are all brought to life by the fantastic cast. Pitt plays Ladybug to perfection. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry have great chemistry as “twins” named Tangerine and Lemon; Taylor-Johnson’s really given his all to this performance and Henry’s constant references to Thomas the Tank Engine are hilarious.
Andrew Koji and Hiroyuki Sanada, whose characters, Kimura and The Elder, are stoic and serious compared to everyone else, both do a tremendous job at bringing the sole solemn note to the otherwise playful and exuberant film. Although, Sanada does get one humorous moment near the end of Bullet Train, which he nails and I’d argue is the funniest gag in the entire film.
Clad in pink, Joey King proves she isn’t just a rom-com actress with her dry cold-hearted but oddly cheery character, The Prince, who tricks many fellow killers into thinking that she’s nothing more than an innocent young girl. King’s performance is nuanced; she manages to be both sickly sweet and unsympathetic at the same time.
Michael Shannon, Benito A Martínez Ocasio (AKA Bad Bunny), Logan Lerman and Zazie Beetz all do a great job with their limted screentime. And speaking of limited screentime, Bullet Train features some hilarious cameos that just add to the film’s enjoyable zaniness.
Will Bullet Train win any Oscars? No. There’s too much style and humour over substance here. But if you enjoy fun films that don’t take themselves too seriously, Bullet Train is a must-watch action-packed comical delight. Overall, I’d give the movie a 7/10.