The bullet train – a lot of wasted potential

As soon as I walked out of David Leitch’s new movie (Deadpool 2, John Wick 1) “The Bullet Train” the first thing that came to my mind was “Wow what a cool movie I saw!”

But after I let the adrenaline of the movie fade I realized that it is a movie that has quite a few very cool elements, but its execution, in addition to a few other problems just make it feel like a movie that could have been much better, and its problems ultimately outweigh the good parts of it, And it’s a shame.

The bullet train – the plot

An assassin with the code name “Beetle” (Brad Pitt) was hired for a simple task – to steal a suitcase on the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. The “twin” assassins are also on the train – Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and mandarin (Aaron Taylor Johnson), a mysterious girl with bad intentions who goes by the name “the prince” (Joey King) and a number of more and less colorful characters.

As the stories of all the characters begin to intertwine the real question is who is even going to get out of this ride alive?

Non-stop action

The action in the movie was one of the things I liked the most about it. He’s nothing we haven’t seen before, especially given the fact that Leitch also directed the first John Wick, but he’s fun and gory just the way I like my action.

One of the interesting things in this regard is the fact that Leitch started his career as Brad Pitt’s stunt double, which created a close relationship between the two, and here in the film he directs him.

And speaking of Pete, his character is one of the coolest characters in the movie, and they miss it because the movie is being marketed as Pete’s movie. His performance in the film is nothing less than magnetizing and unusually funny, and mainly reminded me of his performance in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

In fact, Tarantino’s influence on the film is in almost every frame. If it’s the fast editing, the action and the massive use of samurai swords as weapons, the story that jumps between different time points and feels frantic and the characters, most of whom feel like characters that could have been from a Tarantino movie.

The general feeling of the film is that if I were told that Tarantino directed it, there is a big chance that I would believe it.

And although Brad Pitt was presented as the big star of the film and the main character in it, there are two people who simply steal the show from him almost like he has to steal a suitcase – and they are Lemon and Mandarina, the pair of “twins”.

The chemistry between them is so good, that I really don’t mind that they are a bit of an imitation of the mythological characters of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson from “Cheap Literature” (by Tarantino), because they are in some place an upgraded and updated version of them, and if it is decided to make an entire film only about the exploits of Lemon and Mandarin I am completely in.

The bullet train (courtesy of Forum Film)

A movie that doesn’t use its actors right

So there is great action, a cool story with good twists and three great characters, but that’s pretty much where the good things in the movie end.

A lot of the rest of the cast that is written about the film hardly appears in it, and when it does it is simply wasted on jokes that those who saw the trailer will probably see from a mile away, so these are roles that really do the actors no favors.

At the head of the characters who are not written well is Joey King (“The Kissing Booth”, “The Princess”). Besides the fact that she is more or less the only significant female character in the film, she is supposed to be a strong female character who is supposed to say “we can do everything you can and even better”, but in practice she does more harm than good when she introduces the few women in the film (less or more is) as manipulative who will use any means to reach their goal and does it in an unbearable and very annoying way.

I would be happy to see more female assassin characters in the film who really feel like Super Bad-ass who know what they are doing and have a little better motivations for their course of action.

Another thing that bothered me a bit is the fact that sometimes the film doesn’t really feel like it’s on a train, but in an unreliable photo studio. And the fact that sometimes the film tries to feel realistic and sometimes hyper-realistic, but in a way that doesn’t make sense, doesn’t help

If in a certain scene one of the characters breaks the window in one of the cars and the vacuum created by the speed of the ride sucks things inside the car out, and a few scenes later a character breaks one of the windows, stands on a train that is supposed to travel at about 300 km/h and survives the matter without any problem – this Detracts from the viewing experience.

The bullet train (courtesy of Forum Film)
The bullet train (courtesy of Forum Film)

Bottom line: What did we think of the bullet train?

“Bullet Train” was supposed to be a super cool summer action movie, and its trailers looked very promising, but in the end the finished product is just a movie full of wasted potential with some very cool sequences and a few surprises up its sleeve.

It’s not that I don’t recommend watching it, I just think that you shouldn’t expect too much, so that you can enjoy it, and even a lot, at least when you leave the movie and still don’t think about it in depth.

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