New from Kevin Wozniak on Kevflix: Movie Review: Bullet Train


David Leitch’s Bullet Train is a movie with a lot of characters. To start, there’s Ladybug (Brad Pitt), an assassin who, despite his nickname, is having a terrible streak of luck that only seems to be getting worse for him. There’s Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry), gun-for-hire brothers who will do any dirty job that they are asked to do. Then there is Prince (Joey King), a seemingly nice and innocent-looking girl full of tricks up her sleeve. There is also Kimura (Andrew Koji), a man hell-bent on getting revenge on the person who pushed his young son off a roof, and White Death (you can see what actor plays him on IMDb, but it’s quite a surprise when you don’t know who it is), the mythical badass whose presence lingers throughout the movie. There are also smaller characters like The Elder (Hiroyuki Sanada), Wolf (Bad Bunny), The Hornet (Zazie Beetz), The Son (Logan Lerman), and Maria (Sandra Bullock).

There is a point to all this rambling about the characters besides giving you a basic setup of who the main players are. Bullet Train is a high-speed, adrenaline rush movie that is full of action, comedy, twists, and surprises. But it’s the aforementioned list of characters in the film that make it one of the best movies I have seen this summer. 

The characters in Bullet Train fall into a category that only a few large-ensemble films have been able to accomplish in that each character could warrant their own solo movie and I would see that movie on opening night. Despite us living in a time of constant remakes, sequels, and spinoffs, Leitch and screenwriter Zak Olkewisz, who adapted the film from Kôtarô Isaka’s book of the same name, made it so that every character is exciting and that we enjoy spending time with them on screen and we want to see more of their lives after the credits roll.

Brian Tyree Henry (left) and Brad Pitt (right) in Bullet Train
Brian Tyree Henry (left) and Brad Pitt (right) in Bullet Train (Sony)

Pitt is the star of the film and normally when Pitt is the star of a film, he runs away with it. Pitt’s good looks, comedic timing, and boundless charisma and talent are hard for any co-star to live up to. But not here. Despite Pitt giving an excellent and hilarious performance, he doesn’t steal the show and instead blends in perfectly with the vibe and atmosphere created by Leitch and the other actors. You never miss Pitt when he isn’t on screen because the other characters fill the void perfectly. Taylor-Johnson and Henry nearly steal the entire movie as Tangerine and Lemon. Their timing, banter, and chemistry are sensational and you buy into them being brothers and knowing everything about each other. I also loved Joey King’s performance and think it might be my favorite of her young career.

The most impressive part is how much I loved the smaller characters. Wolf, The Hornet, The Son, and even the Conductor, played by Masi Oka, all have their own things going on that I wanted to explore more. For their brief moments on screen, I feel like I got a grasp of who the characters were, but I kept thinking about what their lives were before the events of the movie and how I wanted to see them on their own adventures. Even Maria, who is merely a voice for almost the entire film, is interesting enough to warrant her own movie, which says a lot about Bullock’s performance and the writing.

And did I mention Bullet Train has exhilarating, bone-cracking action sequences, and is a claustrophobic, single-setting mystery thriller that has stunning set design and an explosive finale that ties everything together at the end? Bullet Train is one of the best times I’ve had at the movie in 2022, largely thanks to the well-written, infectious characters.






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