The movie Bullet Train, released in 2022, features Brad Pitt, Michael Shannon, Karen Fukuhara, among others. Directed by David Leitch and with a screenplay by Zak Olkewicz, the film lasts 126 minutes. 

Review of the movie Bullet Train
Image: Reproduction


After a long career as a stuntman, David Leitch made an extremely successful transition to directing action films. This began with John Wick, released in 2014. Today the director has credits on five feature films, two of which are continuations of franchises.

Now, in Bullet Train, as if the director wasn't already a big name, he allows himself two whims: working with a cast full of big stars, as well as reproducing a narrative full of idiosyncrasies. 

Bullet Train Movie

The plot that follows the film is very simple to understand, but it goes through several flashbacks, which is important to put the characters in context. The mercenary played by Brad Pitt, for example, is hired to steal a suitcase on a bullet train crossing Japan. 

However, the ball is in the possession of two killers, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry. In the end, they aim to return it to a major Japanese mafia boss, who is a mysterious and violent figure. This whole story connects the characters with the other supporting characters. 

In six films starring Brad Pitt, David Leitch was his stunt double. The movie Bullet Train marks the reunion of the two, but now as filmmakers. On screen, the star has never been more at ease playing a sloppy character, incorporated in many details. 

The character embodies this easy-going personality in various details, such as wearing all-star sneakers and, above all, deciding not to handle firearms. With a zen-like discourse, this is the key to making Bullet Train work towards eventual success. 

In an action movie, David Leitch knows that action has to be considered. However, compared to other titles in the same genre, Bullet Train spares the viewers from the beating and the fiscality of the scenes is palpable and convincing. 

Real scenarios

Immune to any pandemic of digitized backgrounds, David Leitch stages everything on real sets, from the train carriages to the moments of action in the film, you can see the need to show the textures and layers to simulate a tangible world. 

Although the director is far from being a CGI artist on the level of Jaume Collet-Serra in The Passenger, he understands all the lighting and set design of the film, and makes the impacts of the bullet train feel real. 

Brad Pitt's leading role

After showing all his charm and stardom in small performances, Brad Pitt returns to take on a role in an American adaptation of Kôtarô Isaka's novel. Once again, his role follows the same line as in the previous productions: he plays personalities who don't ask for any kind of commitment. 

The director is very flexible with the genre, and Brad Pitt is very comfortable in roles of all kinds. This is the third time the actor has played a cool, relaxed character, and he seems at ease showing off his golden locks without any kind of filter. 

In Bullet Train, all this fits Pitt like a glove, as he plays a character who wants to complete his services in the best possible way. However, to complete them, he doesn't intend to use any firearms or violence. 

Although this seems like a big contradiction for a killer, his codename is Ladybird, an insect that symbolizes luck, harmony and happiness. All this makes for an excellent dilemma on screen, especially given the mission that awaits him. 

In short, the movie is a game of cat and mouse, where you have to put together a puzzle that doesn't have much logic. The movie asks the viewer to navigate each wagon, take your seat and allow yourself to embark on this great madness. 

The big problem is that when this game is boring, it relies on the same mechanisms as the genre. What's more, it makes methodical use of what its creativity and premise allow. The whole structure and rhythm brings more dynamics between the characters, which is definitely worth following. 

See also: Review of the movie Raymond & Ray