‘Bullet Train’ review: Brad Pitt keeps you consistently glued to the screen

What if Brad Pitt and a bunch of goofballs threw a two-hour party on a train going from Tokyo to Kyoto at 300 kilometers per hour, charged admission, and called it a movie? That would be “Bullet Train,” now in theaters where the action goes non-stop even when the sarcastic laughs are hit and miss.

There’s hardly a break or flashback that develops the plot, the character, and an iota of logic, which might be a problem if this wild bunch – they’re all hitmen – weren’t so wildly determined.

Pitt is having the time of his life as an aging assassin who calls himself Ladybug, an insect representing luck. Ladybug needs it. Pitt makes his own luck. Has anyone ever looked as good as Pitt at 58? Even wearing a bucket hat and silly glasses! Just say.

Ladybug suffers a crisis of conscience. “Every job I do, someone dies,” he says. Uh.

Brad Pitt and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a scene from the movie ‘Bullet Train’.

Sony Pictures

After a stint in therapy, Ladybug vows not to carry guns, which means he’ll have to rely on his resourcefulness when he’s pulled out of work by his mistress Maria Beetle (Sandra Bullock in a cameo from back for Pitt introducing himself for a few minutes in his recent release, “The Lost City”).

Ladybug’s new mission impossible is to hop on this bullet train in Tokyo and grab a briefcase full of cash no matter how many deadly rivals he has to kill to get it. So far, so obvious. But there’s something about this gallery of reckless thugs that tempts you to go with the flow.

For scene stealing, you can’t beat Brian Tyree Henry as Lemon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Tangerine, both known as “the Twins” despite not being related. Zak Olkewicz’s screenplay would like it to be “Reservoir Dogs” or “Pulp Fiction” or Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill.” If only. But Taylor-Johnson and Henry – in a blonde dye job and a fake British accent – ​​continue to sting.

PHOTO: Bryan Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a scene from the film, "High-speed train."

Bryan Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a scene from the movie ‘Bullet Train’.

Sony Pictures

The same goes for Joey King as a schoolgirl psycho called the prince (don’t ask), rapper Bad Bunny as a wolf, Zazie Beetz as a hornet, Logan Lerman as a son – his father is the Russian crime boss known as White Death (Michael Shannon).

There is also a poisonous snake without a nickname. Is this reptile shameful?

PHOTO: Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio (aka Bad Bunny) in a scene from the movie "High-speed train."

Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio (aka Bad Bunny) in a scene from the movie “Bullet Train”.

Sony Pictures

And I didn’t even mention martial arts master Andrew Koji as Kimura, a Japanese father seeking revenge after his son was pushed off a roof, and the great Hiroyuki Sanada as the eldest, the royally angry grandfather of the boy who is really out for blood.

Fans of Kôtarô Isaka’s 2010 source novel are already upset that so few Japanese artists are featured in the screen version. But Isaka gave her blessing. There’s something about the profit potential of a Hollywood blockbuster, no matter how dumb, that eases the pain of money laundering.

Look for “Bullet Train” to clean up during the scorching days of summer. Director David Leitch, a former Pitt stunt man on classics such as ‘Fight Club,’ earned his bona fide action by calling the shots on ‘John Wick,’ ‘Deadpool 2,’ ‘Hobbs and Shaw,’ and ‘Atomic. Blonde hair”.

“Bullet Train” falls well short of this quartet, becoming more exhausting than exhilarating as it goes. The script contains too many empty calories to fill in the gaps. Only Pitt constantly keeps you glued to the screen. His display of movie star cool is always a thing of beauty.

WATCH: The star cast of high-speed thriller ‘Bullet Train’

Brad Pitt, Joey King, Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor Johnson talk to ABC News’ Chris Connelly about making the fight-filled comedy thriller.


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