Bullet Train

Bullet Train ★★★

Frivolous but funny action/thriller assassin movie that makes zero effort to be anything but a complete copy of everything that came before it...but this time the ridiculously unbelievable coincidences and laughable tropes are now built into the plot via a ham-fisted theme of fate/luck. It's all very cheeky and obvious in the dialog (think Guy Ritchie or Shane Black), but thankfully the movie never crosses the line into direct metacommentary. The film is otherwise carried by the breakneck pace of the story and by top-tier character work the excellent A-list cast puts in, even if some of them are no better than cameos.

The humor and writing for the characters and all the performances made this film watchable. With less creative writing and a less enthusiastic cast...this would have been a flaming unwatchable Hollywood turd. The action in this action movie is passable, nothing special. Any good fight choreography is immediately canceled out by awful, painfully boring CGI sequences and the same fake video game computer blood seen in every single action film nowadays. It just doesn't look or feel visceral anymore, and it seems by design as the film teeters on satirizing the very concept of "suspension of disbelief." The writer just HAD to throw in the old lazy screenwriting technique of "give a character a line designed to mock the inevitable criticism the film will get." I despise that- get too cheeky and I'll roll my eyes at you like you deserve. And this film definitely devolved to that point at times, which is a shame because those moments undercut an otherwise fun atmosphere and generally good charm.

It's not all awful, though. The soundtrack is awesome and the visual style of the film is appealing. In spite of the colossal amount of subplots and flashbacks, the film manages to be paced rather well and everything is always moving forward. There's a lot of good things about the editing that helps everything make sense and not get too lost in the shuffle of so many converging characters. There's some choice one-liners. And it does have a satisfying ending that doesn't try for sequel bait or insult the audience's intelligence. Overall a "meh" experience with some good, some bad, and a whole lotta "seen it done better somewhere else." But it's got some oddly memorable things that stick out and it managed to be engaging and funny enough to be worth a mild recommend to people who want a "turn off your brain and watch really famous people fight and shoot each other for two hours" movie.

Ultimately, though...this film's FATE is for me to eventually misremember scenes from it as being from Snowpiercer or Deadpool 2 or John Wick.

Block or Report

HorrorBrain liked these reviews