‘Bullet Train’ is a Whirl of Color, Sounds, and Movie Stars

Sony Pictures Entertainment

At 275 miles per hour, spanning almost 300 miles, in a whirl of color, sounds, and movie stars, Bullet Train will throw you back in your seat as you are shot through two hours and six minutes of action and excitement. This film has no dull moment as you painstakingly await what twist or fight will come next. With incredible acting and beautifully choreographed action sequences, this new David Leitch movie is undoubtedly in the running for 2022’s best release.

The star-studded cast is led by Brad Pitt playing a former hitman turned pacifistic therapy patient who is looking for some less violent work. Codenamed Ladybug, Pitt’s character bickers with a disembodied handler (Sandra Bullock) in his earpiece, who promises him that the “snatch and grab” assignment is just as simple as it sounds. Ladybug’s skepticism is clear foreshadowing of difficulties to come as he boards the Japanese bullet train bound for Kyoto from Tokyo. We are then introduced to the comical, brotherly pair of Lemon and Tangerine (Brian Tyree Henery and Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who are in possession of the mysterious briefcase that Ladybug has his eyes on. The citrus-based duo is also accompanied by Logan Lerman, playing a dangerous criminal’s son who quickly dies of curious circumstances.

The whole film is based around a bloody capture-the-flag-esque competition for possession of the briefcase as a crafty, young girl by the name of Prince (Joey King) and a grieving father (Andrew Koji) are introduced as yet another team in the hunt.

What Bullet Train lacks in depth or subliminal meanings it makes up for in intense fights, grotesque brutality, and sly quips (The Spectrum Editors would also point out Aaron Taylor-Johnson.) Director David Leitch has directed similar action-packed flicks such as the first John Wick movie and Deadpool 2, and he certainly knows his stuff coming from his career as a stunt man, once even working as the double to his star Pitt. Leitch does not pull any punches in his latest project with many graphic deaths, killing off most of the cast in an assortment of destructive ways: Poisoned, shot, throat slit, and run down by a truck full of tangerines. This brutality only adds to the fast pace of the film as the viewer is forced to keep guessing who is safe and who is not, as well as allowing for a rotation of celebrities to appear. Zazie Beetz, Channing Tatum, and Bad Bunny all have their own contribution to the locomotive’s chaotic quest and if you are careful not to blink, you’ll even find Ryan Reynolds in the mix. 

Even with the variety of cast members, the film’s stars are certainly able to deliver some stellar performances. Pitt, with his shaggy bed-head and confused demeanor, delivers punches that would make Tyler Durden proud. Lemon and Tangerine’s brotherhood also allows Henry and Taylor-Johnson to serve up some heartfelt scenes when the action slows down, causing the audience to really root for the pair.

If you’re looking for a movie that will push you into serious thought or tear you to pieces, then this may not be what you’re looking for, but if you need a good, exciting watch that will keep you leaning in, then you should certainly view Bullet Train on the biggest screen available with lots of popcorn.