“You never know what terrible fate your bad luck saved you from,” is one of the many philosophical lines about luck and fate in the comforting and satisfying thriller, “Bullet Train.” The film, directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2), features several characters, from Ladybug (Brad Pitt) to Prince (Joey King), to the sheikh (Hiroyuki Sanada) speaking or narrating poetically about fate and luck. and fate.
There are also several characters, including Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) – aka “The Twins” and yes, named after fruits – who talk about Thomas the Tank Engine. (Lemon learned to read people from watching Thomas.) All of this talk, while witty and fun, balances the action of the movie, which is also witty and fun, as well as hyper-violent, hyperactive, and hilarious. A violent “funny” series, Lemon and Youngeren tells exactly how many people died in an episode that might give Guy Ritchie fits of envy — and it was recorded in Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Pretty Tapes.” The other includes personal sighting after they have literally half of their head blown off, providing a great sighting muzzle. There is more and more. Some are funny, some are painful, and some are both.
The plot is as simple as the task given to him by Mary Beetle (Sandra Bullock), Ladybug’s healer: get on the express train to Kyoto. Get the bag with the label on the handle. Get off the train at the next station. Plain, peasy, lemonade. But, of course, it is not. The ladybug has trouble at every turn, from a conductor who keeps showing up and asks for his ticket – he lost it before boarding; This is his “scriptural” misfortune – for a werewolf (Bad Rabbit) who plans to kill Lady Bag because he spilled his drink on his suit during his wedding. (There’s more than just a laundry bill for that story, and it involves vomiting and bleeding from the eyes. Once again, the movie is hyper; the sequence in question is shown multiple times lest viewers forget the indelible images.)
Bad Bunny on “Bullet Train” (Scott Garfield/Sony Pictures)
But like the Bullet Train, it’s easy to elongate. Take some of the other violent backgrounds that unfold. Father (Andrew Coogee) is on the boat to take revenge on the person who pushed his son off the roof and put him in the hospital. Lemon and Tangerine take care of the labeled bag and The Son (Logan Lerman) as they are hired to deliver both to the White Death (Michael Shannon), a Japanese underworld boss whose rise to power is chronicled in a fiery, bloody flashback. (It is also shown multiple times.)
Also along the ride is Hornet (Zazie Beetz), who has an agenda involving boomslings – so yes, a snake is on the way. In addition, a giant inflatable Japanese anime character and a bottle of Fiji water were seamlessly integrated into the event.
The “bullet train” provides a good, shiny ride for most of the two hours. Ladybug offers a series of epic battles, each more innovative than the previous one. Someone had him defend himself against Wolf, carrying the bag with stickers as a weapon. Another had him fight Lemon in the quiet car, much to the chagrin of a restless passenger. But what makes the movie so interesting is that the audience often knows what’s going on while the characters don’t. This generates some real confusion when Lemon, Father, and Prince meet, draw guns, shed tears, and make the wrong decision when they think they are making the right one. There is that much and luck again.
For all the fortune reversals, the movie offers some pretty hilarious moments, from a couple of hilarious bitches to a bit when you punch a Ladybug in the bathroom and get to know the features of the bidet and air drying the smart toilet.
Momomon in “Bullet Train” (Scott Garfield/Sony Pictures)
The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, despite all the talk of luck and fate, but the characters are mostly cartoonish too, which is kind of a flaw. Pete is usually as cute as a ladybird, but he goes through some soul-searching. His conscious cliches are meant to be distracting — they literally give him (and audiences) a chance to rest, breathe, and deal with all the chaos — but they tire. Likewise, the banter between Lemon and Tangerine is often forced, like something out of the Tarantino movie. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Henry Tyree are doing really well here, but they’re also a bit unbearable. The other supporting characters are less graphic, though Bad Bunny’s Wolf is a shout-out. Joey King’s The Prince and Zazie Beetz’s Hornet are one note. When a wild-haired Michael Shannon appears to chew the scene and kill people in the final act, he injects the film with some vibrancy.
For all the ball screw comedy, cute responses, and kinetic action, “Bullet Train” entertains, even past the top, which isn’t long before the train literally goes off the rails. Things get especially silly when one of the characters jumps on the back of the express train and hits the glass with her fist! It only strains credibility. Also, do a lot of other action combinations but the movie doesn’t care about realism. “Bullet Train” wants to give viewers a good time. Like luck, or fate, it will be, to a large extent.
“Bullet Train” is now in theaters. Watch a trailer on YouTube.
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