‘Bullet Train’ Review: Brad Pitt Action Flick Is off the Rails in the Best Way

With Bullet Practice, it really is all in the title. A educate, in addition bullets. Woo woo, all aboard!

And certainly. If you simply call your film Bullet Train, you might be environment reviewers on a one-way monitor to employing all the teach-related puns in the reserve. So headlines about this John Wick-esque Brad Pitt film manufacturer it a trainwreck of nonsense, a just one-way trip to snoozeville, a runaway sleeper derailed by its very own inanity.

But you know what: You can invest in me a ticket and I am going to meet you on the platform, simply because Bullet Prepare is a blast. It’s a gleefully exaggerated higher-speed journey into motion and comedy driven by swaggering star turns and 1st-class boxcar brawls, and I’d do the job on that railroad all the reside-prolonged day — no, I will not feel I can retain this up. Bullet Coach is in theaters now, and it is really just a hell of a fun time at the films, Alright? 

Pitt stars as a killer-for-retain the services of who’s cheerfully identified to swap his everyday living of killing for a new outlook on life. But his self-support mantras are sorely examined when he boards a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto and finds himself entangled with a buffet car-load of rival hitmen — with their sights experienced on the unsuspecting Pitt. Stylized, self-aware and from time to time surreal motion ensues. 

Your conductor for this gleefully entertaining mayhem is David Leitch, the former stuntman and second unit director who aided reinvent motion cinema when he co-directed John Wick, as properly as helming Atomic Blonde. When Bullet Educate does characteristic a bunch of substantial-thought struggle scenes, it is just not very the wall-to-wall established piece equipment individuals movies had been. In its place, it’s a looser, baggier tale of greater-than-existence figures bouncing off each and every other in a blackly comic criminal offense flick in the model of Dude Ritchie, Quentin Tarantino and, er, Tex Avery. It is clearly influenced by tough-speaking, gun-toting Japanese gangster movies, but it also shares the freewheeling slice-and-paste stylings of Destroy Bill, the heightened jet-black humor of Grosse Pointe Blank and the frying-pan-to-the-face absurdity of a Looney Tunes toon. It also evokes Smokin’ Aces — try to remember that? — a equivalent selection of cartoon-character assassins thrown jointly in a plot designed from intricate but ludicrous contrivances.

Viewing Bullet Educate as a slapstick popcorn confection, it is really simpler to forgive the film’s failings. This film has the depth of a paper prepare ticket (oh, and possessing 1 of your people point out that videos these times are superficial won’t magically absolve your film from remaining superficial).

And even with currently being centered on a Japanese novel (Maria Beetle by Kōtarō Isaka) Bullet Coach is uncomfortably flippant about Asian tradition (we seriously really don’t want Brad Pitt saying “wasabi!” in a mock-Japanese accent the way he mentioned “El Camino!” in a phony Spanish voice 20 yrs in the past).

Two men brawl in a train snack bar.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brad Pitt look at out the onboard treats in Bullet Educate.


Worst of all is the limitless parade of dead wives. It will not likely just take you lengthy to count the range of women in the movie, and it’s going to get you even significantly less time to count the range of ladies who get to discuss (such as a coach steward whose only line is to offer Pitt some treats, in Japanese, prior to later on being punched in the experience). In the meantime, test counting the range of male people motivated by flashbacks of their voiceless wife currently being brutally murdered in flashback. You could possibly suspect it truly is parody, but whilst this movie enjoys to wink at the audience, this is a single place in which I question its self-awareness.

However, Leitch keeps Bullet Train on the rails and whizzing as a result of station right after station of zippy flashbacks, dizzily interlocked tales and a great number of intricate setups and payoffs. The exceptional ensemble forged is utterly committed to their unbelievable people, all of whom glance completely excellent (both equally in their razor-sharp #OutfitInspo garments and their swaggering self-assurance). Pitt breezes by this sort of issue with the quick appeal of an unassailable movie star, although Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry all fill the screen with entire self confidence. 

Of all individuals, the weak back links are Michael Shannon and rapper Terrible Bunny, a charismatic musician remaining with a really thankless role that consists totally of silent glowering. But everybody’s quickfire banter and determination to the little bit is what keeps the film on the rails — wait around, I currently employed that a single. Wow, trying to keep up these practice jokes is tricky. Glimpse, if you think my railway-themed puns are tortured, just hold out ’til you see how normally the movie comes again to an prolonged functioning joke about Thomas the frickin’ Tank Engine.

The ultimate showdown goes on a bit, but just when you think Bullet Prepare is working out of steam (final one particular I guarantee) the film serves up another bananas stylistic prosper. What a way to operate a railroad!