Bullet Train (2022) Review

So I just got back from seeing Bullet Train and I have to say its pretty good. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it judging from the trailers but I was pleasantly surprised with it. The movie was directed by David Leitch of John Wick, Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 fame. The movie stars Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Joey King, Andrew Koji, and Hiroyuki Sanada. The movie sees Pitt as Ladybug, an unlucky assassin who’s determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs has gone off the rails. Fate, however, may have other plans as his 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. 

I really enjoyed the way the movie unfolded the stories and eventually connected them all. The first half of the movie can feel disjointed and unconnected with everything going on. It jumps around establishing the backstories of the characters and showing us their motivations and why they’re on the train. Eventually though it does pick up when its revealed why all these people are brought onto this one train. Except for one, which I’ll touch on in a bit. It does a good job exploring the characters and their motivations. It makes good use of foreshadowing of a lot of moments throughout the movie. You really have to pay attention and remember stuff as it will come back later in the movie. 

I really enjoyed the characters  and performances throughout the movie. Everyone is doing their best and having a great time while doing it. You can really tell that everyone had a great time working on this movie. There’s a bunch of stand-out characters throughout the movie. There’s  Ladybug with his peaceful way of doing things learning that just maybe he isn’t as unlucky as he thinks he is, there’s the duo of Lemon ( Henry) & Tangerine (Johnson) which are fun throughout. There’s The  Elder (Sanada) who brings the story together while leading towards the final battle. There’s The Prince (Joey King) who really gets under your skin throughout. And then there’s probably my biggest issue with the movie and were we might get into some spoilers, The Wolf aka Bad Bunny. He’s my biggest issue with the movie not for his character or his acting, but because at the end of the day he has nothing to do with the final over-all plan of the villain. Its weird too cause they create this backstory for the character to make us care about him and the things he’s been through, when he’s really only there as a character for the scene in the trailers. I feel like they either wrote the character just to have Bad Bunny in it for a bit to get his name value, or scheduling conflicts could have messed with what he was able to do in the movie. Another smaller issue I have is the use of Andrew Koji throughout, he’s presented in the beginning as a major protagonist but then kind of takes a backseat throughout the rest of the movie for the other more colourful characters. I almost forgot about The Hornet, who like The Wolf is barely in the movie but has a bit more to do with the over-all plot of what is going on as it does take a while to figure out and establish who it is which is a good part of the movie. Other than that everyone else has great chemistry throughout. There’s also a lot of people you’ll recognize throughout the movie in smaller roles if you watch a lot of stuff. 

Another thing I’ll touch on for a little bit is this recurring motif of luck vs fate. This becomes a movie about fate once The Elder joins the fray, showing us how fate brought everyone to this train vs the bad luck of Ladybug or the good luck of The Prince. It’s something that I enjoy the focus on as it really comes into play within the second half of the movie. 

The action was over-all pretty good, well-shot and directed with some interesting choreography. I do think we could have used a bit more though as the action can be very heavy in the flashbacks and in the second half. The movie looks  great, very colourful and great use of characters through costuming. The Effects are mostly good over-all. The stylization of character graphics and editing is effective for me, although it can be a little jarring at times in the first half. The humour throughout the movie is mostly pretty good, can be hit or miss though. The music choices were great. The use of flashbacks throughout is mostly to the movie’s benefit for me, as it helps establish the characters and brings some great reveals later on.

Over-all I’d say Bullet Train is a fun action-comedy ride that is well worth a watch, and a trip to the movies. I give it 1 and a half thumbs up.