Bullet Train
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Bullet Train is a high-octane mix of violence and comedy

In Sony Pictures’ Bullet Train, Brad Pitt leads an eccentric cast of characters for director David Leitch. Zak Olkewicz pens the screenplay for the film, an adaptation of Kōtarō Isaka’s same-titled novel, which introduces us to Ladybug, a trained assassin who wants to give up the killing life. Ladybug unexpectedly finds himself back in action by his handler Maria Beetle (Sandra Bullock), to collect a briefcase on a bullet train heading from Tokyo to Kyoto. Onboard the train, he and other competing assassins discover their objectives are all connected.

Pitt stars as Ladybug, the unlucky assassin determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs gone off the rails. Fate, however, may have other plans, as Ladybug’s latest mission puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries from around the globe, all with connected yet conflicting objectives on the world’s fastest train.

Going into Bullet Train, I had a general idea of the film’s plot but avoided trailers and behind-the-scenes footage as much as possible. The man behind Bullet Train is Stuntman turned director David Leitch. He was behind the lens of two enjoyable flicks from the last few years  Hobbs & Shaw and Deadpool 2. And while I wasn’t a huge fan of 2017’s Atomic Blonde, one of that film’s action sequences was the best of the year.

We get an early introduction to Brad Pitt’s lead character and his current nickname, Ladybug, with the plot kicking off into full gear. Kudos to writer Zak Olkewicz who knows the premise is silly but establishes the other killers on the train tactfully. The other hired guns on the train include twin brothers Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry), cunning Prince (Joey King), and mysterious Wolf (Bad Bunny). Each actor fully commits to their roles and is having a blast. There are also some great cameos in the film, which I won’t spoil, but took me off guard.

Throughout Bullet Train’s run time, I either laughed at the silliness or applauded the glorious action sequences. While everything comes together in the end, I want to let potential viewers know that the storyline is remarkably coherent. In any case, Leitch knows precisely what it takes to make an action film that aims to do nothing more than entertain its audience.  

 

Final Grade: A-

Bullet Train opens in theaters tomorrow. 

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