Review by Camden Ferrell
David Leitch is a modern titan in film as a stunt coordinator, working on some of the biggest action films of the century. In addition to being a stunt coordinator, he has also added director to his resume in the last eight years with movies like Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2. His newest directorial effort is the action-comedy film Bullet Train. With a fast-paced story to match its setting, this movie is an action-packed thrill ride that will make audiences everywhere laugh and be on the edge of their seats.
Ladybug is a seasoned assassin who seems to attract bad luck at every turn. Sucked back into this industry, he takes on a seemingly simple job aboard a bullet train in Japan. However, the train is full of assassins and dangerous individuals who each have their own separate objectives that often conflict with the goals of the other passengers. This is an exciting story with the potential to set up claustrophobic action and tension as well as some exciting twists and character moments.
The script, written by Zak Olkewicz, is pretty quick to establish the highly comedic tone of the movie. All of the characters are witty and fun to watch and are able to banter hilariously when faces aren’t being punched in. The movie also makes the most of its setting and uses it to its advantage to create a quickly progressing story that still feels consistently paced from start to finish. There are sometimes where the comedy can undermine more serious or emotional moments for its characters, but it’s a flaw that is easily overlooked.
One thing that will initially attract audiences to this movie is its massive cast full of established and up and coming stars. The movie is led by the always charismatic and charming Brad Pitt with a strong supporting cast including Joey King, Andrew Koji, and Bad Bunny to name a few people. While there are lots of fun performances and cameos, one would be remiss to overlook the hilarious duo that is Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry who both perform magnificently in this film.
Leitch’s background in stunt work is obvious in the way he executes this movie with carefully orchestrated fights that still flow naturally and engagingly. There are plenty of great surprises and gruesome moments in the fighting and action, and it never feels repetitive or tired. What it lacks in substance, it more than makes up for in abundant thrills.
Bullet Train combines comedy, action, and a star-studded cast to make one of the best summer blockbusters of this year. It’s definitely an inappropriate movie that you don’t want to take young children to, but audiences everywhere will find something to enjoy in this thrill ride that never lets up.
Bullet Train is in theaters August 5.