The long-awaited and star-studded Bullet Train from director David Leitch has officially arrived at its destination.
Following the unlucky assassin Ladybug (Brad Pitt), he returns to work and opts for peace instead of death after one too many dangerous situations. Boarding the bullet train to acquire a briefcase and finish the mission, there are several other armed adversaries from around the globe.
Pitt’s Ladybug acts as the iconic actor’s John Wick which makes perfect sense when considering Leitch’s connection to the franchise as co-director of the original. Pitt has spent much of his tenured career in dazzling leading roles, but rarely has he been able to show his capabilities as an action star. This stage in his career seems like a transitional phase after being delegated to hunky, brooding male leading roles for most of it.
Pitt may be the leading man but the action-comedy is highlighted by young starlet Joey King as Prince and Lemon and Tangerine, portrayed by Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, respectively.
Fresh off The Princess and The In Between, King portrays the unhinged Prince perfectly. Which is a blessing and a curse, as King is an up-and-comer you can’t help but root for. However, she makes being extremely unlikable work. Taylor-Johnson and Henry’s palatable duo are just as equally enjoyable to watch. It’s hard to believe the two have never interacted on screen before. Their undeniable co-dependant bond translated well and made it one of the most defining subplots of the film.
One of the biggest disappointments is Logan Lerman’s role as The Son. When his casting was announced, it seemed he was finally set to get his due in Hollywood acting alongside the industry’s best, but after seeing his gig in Bullet Train, it appears that window is only widening. The glaring issue, though, is the Japanese erasure. Adapted from Kōtarō Isaka’s novel, while the cast has a bit of diversity, it falls into the stereotypical Western depictions of Japan and its culture, making it stick out like a sore thumb.
While it definitely brings the entertainment and distinctive humor, namely from the supporting cast, on the surface, the film brings just enough personality that ends up making it quite fun.