In a summer with big names dominating like Top Gun (still) and Thor, Bullet Train might be the most unexpectedly fun R rated action hit of the summer.
We follow Ladybug (Brad Pitt), an assassin who is trying a new non lethal approach of jobs after several incidents on previous jobs, takes a job to grab a briefcase off a train. As it happens though the train is filled with a variety of other assassins from around the world all on various jobs of their own. Soon everyones plans seem to come together though in an explosion of violence and twists.
Bullet Train never seems to take itself seriously and that works great. Be it many Thomas The Train references, one liners that sometimes hit or don’t, or buddy comedy that works great, the film keeps its tone light. Mix that in with some action scenes that surprisingly work great and the film blends its action and comedy roots really well. Think John Wick lite with one liners almost at times that also gives a message along with it all.
It helps that none of the characters (minus one maybe) are that unlikeable. Pitt plays his role well with Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry coming off as the stars of the show as two assassin brothers. Their comedic timing is perfect and the dialog between them two works. They also help with some of the more sincere moments of the film also. Even Bad Bunny, who you’d think given the poster would have a bigger role, was good here.
Now the film at times can try to pack a lot into it. We have numerous side stories with flashbacks thrown in here to give everyone their reason to be on the train. It never feels overly complicated though or confusing. Everything is eventually laid out.
I will say though the climax of this movie reaches Fast And Furious levels of insane over the top. It went from mild mannered action film on a train to a CGI fest in parts. Now its not bad but it just changes the tone a lot for a bit of it. Same with the few cameos, they are unneeded unless we get sequels, fun to see, but still unneeded.
Overall though Bullet Train is the perfect film to turn your mind off and watch on the big screen this summer for. Great action and comedy with a big name cast. It won’t win awards but you’ll leave happy for sure.
4 / 5