Bullet Train [Grade: 70.83%]

Director: David Leitch

Story By: Zak Olkewicz (adapted from Kôtarô Isaka)

Cast: Brian Tyree Henry, Joey King, Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Logan Lerman, Bad Bunny, Zazie Beetz, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Andrew Koji, & Sandra Bullock

* * *

I mean, this could’ve been released on a streaming platform in all honesty. 

* * *

Theme & Story: C

Pacing: A

Character: C

Overall “Paper” Score: B-

* * *

Entertainment Factors

General Public: Wait for Streaming

Experience Seekers (via Visuals & Score): Don’t Watch

Action / Thriller Fans: Wait for Streaming

Overall “Viewing Experience” Score: Wait for Streaming

* * *


1. Men seeking revenge, a pair tasked with a delivery, a girl on a mission, an assassin on duty, a missing snake, and a guy tasked  with a retrieval…all on a train, tied to one big boss… this is Bullet Train. 

Thematically, the film laid it right out there—what is fate? What is “luck?” Unfortunately, I didn’t find the theme to be as well executed as it could’ve been, despite it having a level of consistency in its most basic interpretation. 🥴

The story itself is the strength for me. The focus on revenge was obvious in different interpretations, and key characters were introduced throughout the film vs within one Act, providing different forms of engagement in addition to having enough purposeful screen time.👍🏾

What didn’t come through as well for me was the theme. Despite the film hammering the attempted theme in such a blatant way, it felt like a forcing of something that is actually more of a subtle side leitmotif (to some extent). 🤷🏾‍♂️

2. Um…I think I love Bad Bunny! 😩😍

3. Sooo…just anyone can be at any part of the train? Even the host/hostess area? 🤨

4. I really liked the names. 👍🏾

5. Personally, I think the film is a pretty engaging 116 minutes. I also think it paces the connecting revenge situations cleverly well despite it also being done quick. 👍🏾

6. I wish there was more to the father and son story. It felt too made up in order to move the plot. 🤷🏾‍♂️

7. The Hornet!🙌🏾

8. There was slight joy in seeing Maria. 🙌🏾

9. I love seeing this subtle normalizing of subtitles in films through language diversity of characters.👍🏾

10. Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were probably my favorite characters in the film. Not only were they the most entertaining for me, but their arc was the most interesting and clearest in its compact delivery. 👍🏾👍🏾

In terms of story and thematic followthrough, that would go to Joey King, who was also a rather entertaining character. Once the film reaches Act Three, and we learn of her motive and arc, the idea of revenge and themes of luck and fate wraps up the best through her. 👍🏾👍🏾

I’m on the fence with my feelings about Brad Pitt’s character. On one hand, every scene he was in was entertaining, but his purpose… eh—there could’ve been more. BUT I did like the “twist” that comes with his character. He wasn’t really part of the “revenge”’plot, and his connection to “luck and fate” felt the most forced (especially that last moment before the film ends). 🤷🏾‍♂️

* * * 

Overall #BulletTrain gives Kill Bill: Vol 2 – meets Final Destination – meets Army of the Dead (minus the zombies) – meets Rat Race – meets Mortal Kombat – meets And Then There Were None 

It wasn’t a bad film, but it was definitely an  ambitious story to tackle. You know what it felt like for me… it felt like the time I went to ride The Joker at Six Flags when it was released—it gave the thrills and fun, but still ended up being underwhelming, and not something I’d wait in line for again like I would Super Man or Mr. Freeze. 

OOOO or like a film that could be playing on mute while in a barbershop or at gentlemen spa while getting a mani and pedi (LOL)

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