Conflict. Murder. Dark humor. Luck vs. fate. And Brad Pitt. What do these all have in common? They all interweave in director David Leitch’s new Bullet Train film. As Brad Pitt boards the train to enter the most tumultuous and speedy task of his life, we jump in headfirst on what makes this action-filled movie, worth seeing.
Bullet Train film jam-packs as much as possible within 2 hours
When American assassin Ladybug (Brad Pitt) is given orders by his handler (Sandra Bullock) to collect a briefcase on a bullet train riding from Tokyo to Kyoto, he thinks it’s just too easy to be real. His hesitation becomes a reality as 6 other assassins and bloodshot erupt on the moving train.
The movie introduces so many characters that interconnect in some way. We’ve got the British duo assassins different in every way (especially looks), Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) on a “saving” mission. A Mexican killer, The Wolf (Bad Bunny), and a Japanese assassin (Andrew Koji) seek revenge for personal situations. Another American assassin, Hornet (Zazie Beats), has money motives, while the schoolgirl killer, The Prince (Joey King), is power-hungry.
It’s flashy, fast-paced, and extremely violent. Moments of limited standstill are interrupted by loud bangs, fight choreography, and bright lights. Is the speed of the story a downfall or genius decision-making by David Leitch? This style is his forte when looking at his work like Deadpool 2 and Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw. The train feels like a time warp within a paradox where nothing and everything happens at the same time.
Brad Pitt stabilizes the Bullet Train film plot
Amidst the assassins, story arc, and several train stops, Brad Pitt’s Ladybug stays consistent. He’s a man on the brink of retirement roped into another “killer” task. He’s a “changed man” from his previous assassin work, using his therapy tools to be “less reactive,” as he says. Brad Pitt’s character is a bit reminiscent of the retired hitman Hutch Mansel in Nobody.
He’s a chilled-out assassin, using other assassins’ anger and aggression as an opportunity to share his so-called therapeutic wisdom. A lot of the time, Ladybug does try to find ways to save his butt, only to cross the line by having condescending lectures that could get him killed.
Ladybug puts forth a non-threatening demeanor with the help of Brad Pitt’s kind face and the bucket hat/glasses combo. It makes his assassin’s work that much more shocking. Or maybe that’s the brilliance of a successful killer, never knowing their next move.
Brad Pitt is no stranger to the action style with a comedy twist, trailblazing in the genre with films like Inglorious Bastards, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
Dry, dark humor leads the show
Action, violence, blood, and death can be draining to watch. In Bullet Train’s case, David Leitch and the cast had a knack for livening up scenes while balancing them with humor.
Assassin duo Lemon and Tangerine are known for their brutal and resourceful killings. That doesn’t mean they’re on the same page, though, as they often get on each other’s nerves. With a gun and bullet vest taped to the chest, Lemon poses as a scary killer. In reality, he’s just doing his duty while yelling out a Thomas the Train reference in every scenario. Tangerine can’t help but show annoyance at his stupid (but kind of cute) connections to the kid’s TV show. Both Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry drive the sarcasm with every line. Aaron’s sarcasm feels more deadpan, while Brian’s is more chaotic. With the amount of comedy that ensues with these 2, it’s impossible to hate them.
The whole cast brings their own dry and dark humor to the forefront. The most shocking comes from the young Joey King. A star in her own right, her career expands over several films, most recently The Kissing Booth franchise. How can a teen rom-com actress play an assassin with some messed up but genius lines? Range is the answer.
Is life about luck or fate?
Throughout the film, Ladybug believes he struggles with bad luck, although his handler believes he is gifted with good luck. In reality, maybe there’s more than just bad luck vs. good luck. Maybe luck fits under the broader umbrella of fate?
Ladybug was fated to take that train. He was fated to miss countless stops. His destiny was to meet all these assassins for some grand plan. We may never know the full answer, but we can still apply it to our own lives. Of course, without all the brutality.
Will you change the course of fate and see Bullet Train in theaters?
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