Bullet Train is a harsh reminder of how important it is for Brad Pitt to play roles that let him have fun. We can see the actor at his best on those tapes. As proof, we can look at how well he did in Snatch, where he played a gypsy with an accent no one could understand, Inglourious Basterds, where he led a group of Jews who killed Nazis with a different accent, and, of course, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, where he played himself as a help guide to a falling star.
Pitt is now a criminal who is down on his luck. He goes to therapy and tries to change as a person, but he ends up on a journey that could end his life at any time. He is not a very complicated character, but the actor makes him his own in every way. From the beginning of the story until the end, he charms the audience with his classic smile.
The presence of this legend on screen is so strong that it makes the movie possible to put up with an unbalanced direction and a script that tries to do too much. The story could have been better with different eyes, but because it doesn’t find its own voice, it’s one of the biggest disappointments of the year.
A train to nowhere
In Bullet Train, Brad Pitt plays a character named Catarina (or Lady Bug), who is on a mission to steal a briefcase from a train and get off the station to deliver it.
We also see the stories of other people on the train: two hitmen with the nickname “fruits” (Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, in what may be his worst role to date), a teenage girl who is actually a murderer (Joey King), a father who wants to get revenge for an attack on his son (Andrew Koji), and a Mexican who wants to get revenge for the death of his wife ( Bad Bunny ). All of the stories are tied together in a crazy action-comedy with a lot of blood and death.
The action isn’t exciting enough
But in the play, the comedy isn’t very good, the action isn’t exciting enough (even in IMAX) because it relies more on special effects than well-coordinated fights, and he wants the deaths to be the only thing that surprises the audience. There’s no doubt that David Leitch is good at making explosive action scenes, but in John Wick, his stunt coordination doesn’t quite match his vision.
The plot doesn’t have a solid place
The story doesn’t have a solid place in the work because it sometimes tries to fit a dramatic story into all the absurdity, which makes the risks not seem so high. Also, it’s hard to tell where each character is on the train, which adds to the confusion and imbalance. It looks like we’re watching a cartoon, and even though the cast is great, a Knives Out doesn’t happen, and the only person who stands out is the main character.
On the other hand, the decision to “Westernize” some Japanese elements from the book it was based on, like the murderous schoolgirl, makes it look even more like a cartoon and a lot less comfortable, despite the best efforts of young Joey King.
With all the over-the-top action that tries to be like Tarantino, the “clever” conversations, and the many references to the children’s show Thomas and Friends, there is an attempt to weave in a philosophical question about fate and luck, but we just want the train to get to its destination, and Brad does enough to keep us watching.
Bullet Train looks like something that could have come out on Netflix over the weekend. Unless you don’t have anything else to watch, save your money and wait until it’s available to stream although, we agree, watching Pitt on the big screen is worth it.
The movie Bullet Train comes out in theaters on August 3.