‘Bullet Train’ – Cartoon of a bug rabbit… less realistic

There’s something really funny about Brad Pitt’s recent Oscar win.

The A-list actor deserves a statue for his work in “Once upon a time… in Hollywood“But since then he has been working overtime to make us howl.

He did it through a killer cameo this year.”Lost City“And he’s burning serious calories to perform again in” Bullet Train. “

Yes, it was an action sequence from “Deadpool 2” director David Leitch, but comedy is the mainstay. How else to explain an adventure where reality stiffens the arm before dismissing any sense of reason in the final, deflated half-hour?

Pitt plays Ladybug, a seasoned celebrity man who thinks he’s landed a bad gig for a change.

Enter the train to Kyoto. Find metal suitcases. Get off the train and get a nice check. That, combined with his newly enlightened self, suggests he can put killing aside for a change.

Serenity now!

Except the train in question is infected with people who are equated (who?) with competitive motives. There’s Tangerine and Lemon (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry), inseparable killers who bicker like an old couple.

The pretty prince (Joey King) has a few tricks up his sleeve, as does the nimble Kimura (Andrew Koji) and Hornet (Zazie Beetz).

They are all part of a scheme that is gradually brought into focus over the course of the film. Never mind dissecting it, or wondering why the great Michael Shannon even bothered to show up.

The twists and turns are the content of an overly clever screenwriter trying to pull the wool over our eyes. That’s easier than writing a richly drawn story with smart characters and engaging dialogue.


“Bullet Train” still gives us some fun thrills, mostly thanks to its charismatic cast. The words of Pitt, the killer who is always trying to say how to get out of trouble, is more humorous than usual.

Pitt’s comic skills are first-rate, and he’s kept the mayhem grounded for longer than most stars can.

Henry and Taylor-Johnson make the most of their thin-drawn characters, with Lemon’s affection for “Thomas the Tank Engine” shifting from cute to faster clone…you can fill in the rest again.

That’s as much character depth as screenwriter Zak Olkewicz (“Fear Street Part Two: 1978”) can gather. It’s all the winking antics, the cute-cute antics that drive the style brand at every opportunity.

And, my friend, that approach sometimes connects. At its worst, “Bullet Train” is like a Looney Tunes cartoon. Except for all the blood, bruises and body.

It helps Leitch’s action sequences remain impressive. His hand-to-hand combat choreography (what else could you try on a moving train?) is tense and effective. Our anti-heroes create weapons from the nearest objects, be it a snack tray or a water bottle.

However, after a while, the feeling of exhaustion sets in. Can you stop trying to pretend that there is a deeper message here about fate? Please?

And that’s before the final act is so silly, so full of touching, that you wish the actors stepped out of character, glanced at the director offscreen and said, “really?”

We’re talking about Brad Pitt here, an actor who shouldn’t be seen as such trash at this stage in his career.

Leitch et al. cannot help them. They listen to odd moments, hoping each increasingly jarring beat will make us grin.

It works longer than necessary. In the end, you will beg for the chaos to end.

It’s not “Bullet Train’s” fault that our cultural moment doesn’t allow certain jokes but cheers for the movie about the lovely assassin. It was still empty when we were asked to care, and to care very deeply about those who kill for a living.

Maybe Pitt should consider a comedy without such a shaky moral compass next time’.

Hit or miss: “Bullet Train” has a lot of good episodes and some tough action beats, but in the end you will want it all to stop.

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