the_ruck’s review published on Letterboxd:
Bullet Train was probably one of my most anticipated films of this year and one of the few where I was not disappointed. Because David Leitch sits on the director's chair and he has already shown with Atmoic Blonde and Deadpool 2 that he can offer great entertainment. In addition, the concept about a train full with contract killers is totally exciting and of course the actors are also there, because all familiar faces can be seen. Well and that makes for a film that is certainly not perfect, but is always at top speed from start to end. Pun not intended.
Well, the idea is really damn exciting. A train full of contract killers, all of which have to fulfill a specific mission. Well, actually it's quite a simple idea, but often it's such simple ideas that make for great films. For example, like Speed, because Bullet Train actually also has such a High Concept, which has also been implemented really well.
Because the film offers the perfect mix of action and comedy and both work really well. Chad Stahelski and David Leitch are actually pretty much the only ones who still care about good action in Hollywood today and you can see that here without a doubt. Sometimes there are really wild and fast cuts, but basically the action is always clearly recognizable and above all a lot of fun. Because the action part of the film also mixes with the comedy part. So there are some action sequences where you briefly pause for a joke. Of course, this can be annoying, but since the comedy aspect in the film also works so well, these sequences also work very well overall.
Actually, I'm rather hard to bring me to laugh, but the film really made it in some places. On the one hand, this is of course due to all the bizarre and strange characters that appear in the film. But also through numerous stylistic devices used in the film. Like a snake or a mascot, which are used again and again in the film for funny moments. But of course not everything works perfectly and so there are actually two kinds of jokes in the film. Some jokes are really damn funny because they are really bizarre but also feel organic. So by that I mean that these jokes simply fit perfectly into the action. But then there are also a few moments that are just too much in your face. For example, if a character constantly talks about „Thomas the Locomotive“ and that's supposed to be funny because it's a children's show and the guy is an adult contract killer. Oh yes and besides, it's Thomas the LOCOMOTIVE and the film takes place in a train. Well, I thought that was a little too much. But no matter, because basically I was really entertained, both by the action sequences and by the humor, which is really taken to the top in the end. In addition, you can also hope for a few guest appearances, because there are also a few funny appearances that you might not expect.
But you shouldn't expect a pure action comedy either, because of course the film also has an overarching plot. A plot that, unlike the rest of the film, is actually quite serious. Well and I also think that this plot fits really well into the rest of the film. Although the film tries to bring a little more depth into it at these points, which does not work quite so well, in my opinion. But basically I think that the film really uses all these aspects well and so a film is created with good action, damn funny scenes, but which is also not too laughable overall.
Well and then there is another great aspect in this film and that's the whole look. The film is totally colorful and that in every setting. Sometimes it's a bit too much of a good thing, but basically I really like this colorful look of the film. In addition, the entire camera work has also been really well done, with some really great shots. For example, when Aaron Taylor Johnson gets off the train and the camera turns. Well, overall, this simply ensures some really successful shots and they have really given a lot of creative leeway.
But then there is a small point of criticism and this concerns the entire flashbacks, which are repeatedly pushed in, especially at the beginning of the film. I thought at short notice: Oh no, please don't go through the whole film. And fortunately they didn't do that either, because after the first third it gets quieter. But before that, there is really one flashback after another to introduce the characters. It is really the case that there is a flashback, then a minute of action on the train and then another flashback. Of course, these flashbacks are also important and make sense in the end. But perhaps something should have been taken back.
But be that as it may, of course, the best part of the film is still missing and these are clearly the characters. There are actually four characters that stand out. Starting, of course, with Brad Pitt, who steals the show from everyone else in each scene, but we are actually used to that from him. In any case, he plays this strange character, which is probably most similar to the character he embodied in True Romance, if anyone knows the film. I can't really describe it, but he's undoubtedly the best character in the movie and makes a lot of laughs. Then there is Joey King, who doesn't play a funny character, but without a doubt a really nasty and special character. Well and with The Act she really showed that she can act and she proves that here again. Well and then of course there will be Lemon and Tangerine. I really like Aaron Taylor Johnson since Kick Ass very much and here he can prove his skills once again. The same applies to Brian Tyree-Johnson, who delivers at least one equally grandiose performance. And in the duo, the two are much better so I would have liked to have seen much more of the two. At least I wouldn't have anything against a spin-off with the two.
Well, and the rest of the cast consists of equally grandiose actors with many bizarre and crazy characters, all of whom are really amusing. Only with Masi Oka and Karen Fukuhara did I expect a little more. I like the former mainly through Heroes and the latter for The Boys, but both have quite small insignificant roles, although I expected a little more.
But no matter, and by the way, everyone who is afraid that the characters will not die because you still want to save some for a possible sequel, they can take a deep breath. Because many characters die and sometimes in a really brutal way.
So overall, Bullet Train is a film with continuous entertainment, grandiose and at the same time funny action, some damn bizarre ideas and characters and thus simply a wonderful film experience. A film experience that I will definitely watch several times, because I don't think the film really loses its show value either. Well let‘s End this with a wonderful tip for every occasion:
"Snake Don't Open"
My 2022 ranking -Here