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Bullet Train

Bullet Train

Synopsis:
Five assassins aboard a fast moving bullet train find out their missions have something in common.
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A simple “snatch and grab” job becomes complicated in . Ladybug () is a former assassin plagued by bad luck who is asked by his handler Maria Beetle () to come back to work for a simple “snatch and grab” job of stealing a briefcase from a Japanese Bullet Train travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto. However, the job becomes complicated when Ladybug finds that other assassins are on board who want the case. These include British brothers Tangerine () and Lemon (), schoolgirl The Prince (), The Wolf (, aka rapper Bad Bunny), The Hornet (), The Father () and The Elder ().

Bullet Train is an action-comedy directed by David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2), based on the novel “Maria Beetle” by Kōtarō Isaka. The plot takes place predominantly on the titular Bullet Train, where Ladybug finds the train full of assassins, who are all after the metal briefcase he was assigned to collect. It soon becomes apparent that the mysterious Yakuza leader, the White Death, is a connective tissue between all these assassins.

A film that comes to mind in regards to Bullet Train is Joe Carnahan's 2006 film Smokin' Aces, except instead of assassins storming a Las Vegas hotel, they are all on board a Japanese Bullet Train. Brad Pitt's lead character, Ladybug, is quite apprehensive about going back to work since he believes that he suffers from bad luck that causes people around him to die, whether he intends them to or not. Ladybug's assignment is to grab a metal briefcase from the train and leave, though it ends up not being as simple as Ladybug's handler makes it out to be.

Bullet Train is a relatively so-so action film that is elevated somewhat by its casting. This includes a couple of fun cameos, including someone who happened to be in the aforementioned Smokin' Aces. One bit of casting I'm not sure is a spoiler or not is the individual playing the lead antagonist, The White Death. Since the character is only heard or seen masked for most of the film, I'm going to keep that reveal a surprise, even if a glance at the IMDB cast list reveals who it is.

An actor I can talk about who ends up stealing Bullet Train is The Elder, played by legendary Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada (Ringu, Mortal Kombat). The Elder is at the centre of the film's primary subplot, where his son Kimura, aka The Father, boards the train to get vengeance against The Prince for pushing Kimura's son off a roof. Arguably one of the most memorable sequences of Bullet Train comes during the climax, as The Elder fight The White Death's henchmen as a Japanese version of “Holding Out for a Hero” plays.

While Bullet Train ultimately doesn't leave much of a lasting impression, it is still an action-comedy with some fun moments and a whole lot of Thomas the Tank Engine analogies.

Trailer for Bullet Train

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This post was proofread by Grammarly 

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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