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Action -Shoot-em Ups

Bullet Train (2022)

Duration2h 06m (Apparently the actual time it takes the Bullet Train to complete its journey)
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Denmark: 15 
Source of storyA Japanese book “Maria Beetle” by Kotario Isaka.
DirectorDavid Leitch
Writers/ScriptZak Olkewicz
StarringBrad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Hiroyuki Sanada, Micael Shannon, Sandra Bullock, Bad Bunny, Logan Lerman, Zazie Beetz, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.5/10 by 58,901 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 53% by 298 reviewers. Review2view 7.8/10. .

Elevator Pitch: A professional assassin named by his handler, who talks in his ear, as Ladybug is returning to work and is given the job of picking up a briefcase on the Japanese bullet train which runs from Tokyo to Kyoto. The train apparently stops for one minute in the stations en route, but when Ladybug is attempting to get off he is confronted with a man who recognises him and pushes him back into the train as the doors close. Also on the train are two brothers, one black and one white, known as Lemon and Tangerine. They are protecting the son of “White Death” a Yakuza leader, and are in charge of the briefcase. While L & T are looking for the briefcase someone kills the son by injecting Boomslang venom into him. A young woman, confusingly called “The Prince” also on the train is controlling a man by threatening his son. Her objective is to kill White Death. She also needs the briefcase to make a bomb from it. Somewhere there is an assassin with Boomslang venom, and also a real Boomslang snake. Can Ladybug retain the briefcase and more importantly, will he survive?

Content: Some brief sex, but no nudity. We see the back stories for some of the assassins which usually involve extreme violence, and might be the reason why they are on the train. The train dashes across the countryside at high speed. At the one minute stops at the stations something usually happens. Ladybug is in contact with his handler for some time, until he loses his phone, she constantly gives him reassuring advice, in the face of his pessimism. He seems to be accidentally prone to attack by the other assassins on the train. Over time they are mostly dispatched gruesomely. In the final showdown there is a lot of machine guns and blood. I am reluctant to say more, but I thought the end was fun.

A View:  This film has been variously reviewed, but we, the general public, have given it the thumbs up, so it has already made its $90 million production budget back. It is a bit Tarantinoesque, giving headings to each of the characters, who even when engaged in violent acts, talk about non-consequential things. I really liked the sound track which seemed to consist of alternate versions of well known pop songs, including “Holding Out For a Hero” in Japanese, and I loved the Bullet Train. However some of the memes were less than successful. Lemon, one of the brothers has an obsession with Thomas the Tank Engine and Ladybug is unlucky. However in the screen where I saw it there was actual laughter from the audience, and despite its failings I really enjoyed it. So a watch if you like that sort of thing.

It is a difficult to make a movie where there is violence and killing, yet somehow offering a lot of laughs, but a few have been reviewed on this site. They include Mr & Mrs Smith, Bad Boys and, one of my all time favourites, Dredd 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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