If Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” married Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” and they had a child, that child would be Columbia Pictures’ new movie, “Bullet Train.”
And, that’s not a bad thing.
In fact, ‘Bullet Train’ – which is an adaptation of Kotaro Isaka’s 2010 novel, ‘Maria Beetle,’ with some character changes – benefits from the seemingly mismatched DNA that makes for two hours of movie-going fun. .
The script for the new film, which hits theaters this weekend, looks like Christie at its heart with a mystery for viewers to try and see if they can figure it out before the big reveal at the end. Even then, you have to wait until the end to see how all the characters relate.
The mystery at the heart of this film, however, is wrapped up in a story and style that draws from a variety of inspirations.
The inspiring mix this bizarre train ride stems from includes Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films, ‘The Transporter’, ‘Deadpool’, ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’, ‘Mean Girls’, Japanese anime and just about anything. which film directed by Guy Ritchie or Robert Rodriguez.
This eclectic mix should perhaps not be too surprising considering “Bullet Train” director David Leitch, who also directed “Deadpool 2.”
Both films share many of the same sensibilities, including a part in “Bullet Train” where two characters break the fourth wall and speak directly to the audience.
But, the biggest influence – the one that’s woven and ingrained throughout the film – is perhaps the most bizarre of them all: the kids’ show, “Thomas the Tank Engine.”
Even though the only thing you know about ‘Thomas The Tank Engine’ is that it exists, it’s for kids and it has something to do with the trains that have faces on them as you walk into this movie, you’ll feel like you have a deep philosophical understanding of the show by the time this movie ends.
This is because one character, a hitman/carrier named “Lemon” (whose work partner and brother is called “Tangerine”), is obsessed with “Thomas The Tank Engine” and seeks to find out who looks like every character on the show and why.
The big mystery of “Bullet Train” is who the real-life version of the “Thomas” character, “Diesel,” is. It’s a nickname “Lemon” gives to anyone who represents an unknown and potentially dangerous variable in a situation, essentially the match that could ignite the proverbial powder keg.
But, the star of the movie, as anyone who’s seen the trailer could probably guess, is Brad Pitt, who plays a thief whose code name he’s been given is “Ladybug.”
Pitt’s character spends much of the film complaining about his bad luck while having to deal with a steady stream of hardships, ranging from being stabbed, being bitten by a deadly snake (for which he once received a anti-venom. I’ll ‘to spoil the details) and lose the train control manual.
But it’s Pitt’s character that provides some of the film’s funniest moments.
Despite Christie’s influence in this film, there is no Detective Poirot or Miss Marple character in this film, but Pitt’s character is perhaps the closest film to such a character – although Pitt’s character might be more Inspector Clouseau than Poirot.
An example of the humor that Pitt’s character brings to the film is when he fights over a briefcase with a person dressed as a Japanese anime character which multiple characters end up punching in the face (the bit about the anime character is paid off later in the film in a decidedly less humorous scene).
Another example of Pitt’s character being the focus of much of the humor is a bit that involves a toilet he can’t figure out. At one point he accidentally triggers the bidet in the toilet and at another he turns on the fan designed to dry a person’s behind, which is just an excuse to make a joke about the image of the cute Pitt boy by creating a “windswept-haired Brad Pitt”. ” moment).
There are also a few funny cameos in the movie that will make the audience laugh.
But, in the end, the films veer into the territory of an Akira Kurosawa movie and a story of manipulation and revenge.
Even the more serious bits later in the film find ways to have a bit of humor without undoing the serious nature of the ending. In essence, “Bullet Train” is an action-adventure film that doesn’t commit the cardinal sin that many films in the genre commit by trying to take themselves too seriously.
This movie knows how to keep the action going while keeping the audience interested in the story unfolding before them.
All in all, “Bullet Train” is the kind of movie you can go see with a group of friends or, despite the violence and the swearing (there’s a lot of both, sometimes written in Japanese), it can even be a fun date. night movie.
Even Agatha Christie, the mistress of mystery herself, would probably enjoy this movie.