Film Review: ‘Bullet Train’ Misses Its Stops With Few Exceptions

“Bullet train” It should have been a gimme of a good time. An action comedy with a wacky cast that follows a group of assassins unknowingly on the same mission within the confines of a passenger train? Sign me up!

Somewhere on its way to theaters, it got creatively and violently derailed into a mostly mediocre and sometimes annoying film that will end up being forgotten by anyone who sees it. Hell, I’m struggling to remember most of it as I write this.

I wish this wasn’t the case. I wanted to enjoy “Bullet Train,” and sometimes I did, but the movie can’t help but get in its own way whenever it starts to build momentum or any real emotion.

“Bullet train” follows Ladybug (Brad Pitt), a murderous criminal contractor trying to curb the usual violence of his profession during his latest job; one that should be a simple snatch and grab of a non-distinctive briefcase. The capture? Turns out there are a bunch of other killers on the train too after that case.

After the release of the first trailer for “Bullet Train” about five months ago, I was very interested. The premise was cool enough, but the cast and director are what really sold me on it. Director David Leitch is a trained stuntman with an extensive background in stunt coordination and was involved in producing and directing portions of the “John Wick” franchise, the best modern action franchise Hollywood has to offer. There was a lot of potential just with the inclusion of him, especially with how good an action movie “Atomic Blonde” is, Leitch’s directorial debut. The cast, led by Brad Pitt, are all fantastic in their respective roles, despite the constant ridiculous dribble they’re forced to spew. All of this makes me think that the script, written by Zak Olkewicz, is the problem.

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This script, whoo boy this script; it’s really awful. It starts off with a half hour of boring nonsense before becoming remotely interesting, almost always lacking in humor despite constantly trying, and thinking he’s much smarter than he really is. It’s such a frustrating watch, not only because of the lost potential, but because of its constant RakeStepping. I just wanted a fast-paced, fun action movie. What I got is a mostly fast-paced action movie that constantly gets in its own way due to its poor script and nasty editing choices.

I guess it wasn’t enough for this writer to have “Bullet Train” formatted like a normal movie, as the choice was made along the way for each character to have a stylized intro, a title card, and in some cases several unnecessary and jarring flashbacks. It would be one thing if this was just in the script, but the way everything is edited together is so nosy and annoying. This is not “Pulp Fiction” and this writer is not Tarantino, this is a mediocre and soon-forgotten action movie written by a guy with only one other writing credit to his name.

The best parts of the movie are the action scenes, which are a lot of fun but often suffer from poor editing decisions, breaking up fights or cutting them midway in an attempt to force comedy with unrelated characters being often they don’t. to work. The movie is really trying its best to be like a James Gunn movie, specifically “The Suicide Squad,” mixed with “John Wick” fight choreography. movies, but it doesn’t quite reach the heights of either, instead coming off as a stylistic rip-off rather than a well-intentioned impression.

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I wish I could recommend this movie, but it’s just not worth watching for a ticket price that’s probably over $10. If you have a local dollar theater, or your multiplex has a discount day, then perhaps you’d consider checking out “Bullet Train” for a matinee, knowing you’ll probably forget about it by the time you dine.

There’s just not much to say about “Bullet Train”, it’s a bit like a nothing burger. Everything it tries to do has been done better in much better movies recently or even decades ago. Even with a quick two-hour runtime, “Bullet Train” he just can’t move fast enough to get away from himself.

@zachj7800

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