neon_enthusiast’s review published on Letterboxd:
I saw David Leitch’s adaptation of Bullet Train at Legacy Theaters Bristol 14, in Bristol, on August 6, and this is a pretty good film!
An adaptation of Kōtarō Isaka's novel MariaBeetle, the film follows Ladybug, a substitute assassin who is filling in a job for another hitman, Carver. This particular job involves an important briefcase that contains a large ransom.
Brad Pitt is fantastic as this assassin who seems to have the worst luck, with a performance that is filled with charisma.
Joey King gives a pretty good performance as The Prince, another assassin on the train who poses as a British schoolgirl, whose mission is to kill The White Death. The White Death is a vicious figure from Russia, who became the head of a yakuza organization, which led to it becoming the largest crime syndicate. King nails down the British accent quite well.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is great as Tangerine, Lemon's twin brother, who is kind of the straight man to the more offbeat Lemon.
Brian Tyree Henry is hilarious as Lemon, Tangerine's brother who has an encyclopedic knowledge of a certain television show.
The dynamic between the two twins is one of the reasons why they are possibly my favorite characters in the entire film.
Hiroyuki Sanada gives a fantastic supporting performance as The Elder, The Father's father who seeks vengeance against The White Death. There is one particularly great monologue from him.
As for the direction of this comedic action flick, David Leitch was an excellent choice for this film. Leitch crafts choreographed set pieces that balance grueling violence and dark comedy quite well, with most of them taking place on the train itself.
The soundtrack is also quite good as well, with surprising choices such as Sweet Thang by Shuggie Otis playing in the background during one scene, along with a newly recorded cover by Engelbert Humperdinck that plays during an absolutely hilarious sequence. Overall, the soundtrack contains a plethora of great tracks.
My primary complaint about the film, is that it can be kind of overkill at times when it comes to the abundance of flashback sequences. If a few of them were left on the cutting room floor, the film would definitely have been improved.
Overall, Bullet Train is a fun slice of action cinema, with an excellent ensemble cast, great set pieces, and some hilarious moments, along with a killer soundtrack. I recommend checking this one out!