Bullet Train movie review & film summary (2022)

Brad Pitt stars as Ladybug, a former assassin who’s been ordered to board the train, steal a briefcase, and get off. He replaces another assassin who became unavailable at the last minute, and he refuses his master’s advice to carry a gun because he has just come out of anger management and has given up killing. Ladybug’s other killers are a bomber crew of homicidal eccentrics. Joey King is “The Prince”, who poses as an innocent schoolgirl appalled by the cruelty of men, but immediately reveals himself as a clever and ruthless engine of destruction. Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (who’s groomed to look like the evil drunk Begbie from the original “Trainspotting”) are brothers who’ve gone from mission to mission, racking up seemingly triple-digit body counts, and now find themselves on the train protecting the briefcase and escorting the depressed 20-something wasteful son (Logan Lerman) of a terrifying crime boss known as White Death.

The White Death is a Russian who took over a Yakuza family. His face isn’t shown until the end of the story (it’s more fun for audiences to resist googling who plays him, since his casting is one of the best surprises in the whole story). Hiroyuki Sanada is “The Elder”, a grizzled but still deadly assassin with ties to the White Death, and Andrew Koji is “The Father” – The Elder’s son, obviously; they want revenge because someone pushed The Elder’s grandson off the roof of a department store, putting him in a coma. They believe the person responsible is on the train, mingling with all the other agents of death.

The plot initially seems goal-oriented, revolving around the comatose grandson and the metal briefcase. But as the script adds new fighters to the mix and establishes that they’re all tangentially linked, “Bullet Train” turns into a half-ass but heartfelt statement about fate, luck, and fate. karma-and Ladybug’s constant (and often humorously boring) comments on these topics, voiced in discussions through a manager (Sandra Bullock’s Maria Beetle, heard via earpiece), begin to sound like a instruction manual to understand what the film is “really” doing. (Ladybug is sort of a “Pulp Fiction” post-credits Jules after repudiating violence, but he’s still stuck in life, and it’s gotten harder because he’s decided to never pick up a gun again. fire.)

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