Film previews: Bullet train, an action comedy full of excesses and a character worthy of the charisma of Brad Pitt

High-speed train (USA/2022). address: David Leitch. Script: Zak Olkewicz, based on a novel by Kotaro Isaka. Photography: Jonathan Sela. Song: Dominique Lewis. editing: Elisabet Ronaldsdottir. Listing: Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Joey King, Bad Bunny. duration: 126 minutes. distributer: IPU/Sony. Qualification: Suitable for ages 16+. Our opinion: good

High-speed train it’s the kind of movie that must have been more fun to make than to watch. As the narrative builds scene after scene of witty dialogue, choreographed fights and increasingly eccentric characters, the viewer can imagine director David Leitch (Deadpool 2), explaining to the producers how entertaining it will be to put Brad Pitt on the title’s famous Japanese train and watch him battle ruthless killers, a persistent ticket checker, the liquor cart, and a snake. Yes, this action-comedy includes all of that and more. The formula plays on excess in all areas: sets and costumes burst with garish colors, neon sets the tone, and the different accents pile up to form the opposite of a tower of Babel. Maximalism is intentional and yet that does not mean that it turns out as its creators surely intended.

Driven by superhero films, inspired by a novel by the prolific Japanese author Kotaro Isaka and borrowing some of the spirit from Quentin Tarantino’s screenplays, Guy Ritchie’s films sometimes reach the pace and air of unreality of to the saga of John Wick, High-speed train It has characters with bad intentions but the physical toughness and occasional humor of Iron Man or Deadpool, and from the start it’s about communicating that nothing seen on screen should be taken at face value. serious. A dangerous double-edged premise: if the persecution of a Russian gangster called White Death who controls the Japanese underworld and enjoys murdering his rivals with his own weapons doesn’t frighten his victims and the boy into a coma for being thrown out of a terrace is just a trigger for other much less traumatic parts of the plot, so nothing that happens really matters. Nihilism isn’t always the best recipe for comedy. Although it can be if treated with moderation, a foreign word in the dictionary of High-speed train.

Bullet Train with Brad Pitt
Bullet Train with Brad PittPhoto credit: Scott Garfield – IPU

The common thread of the story is the character of Pitt, a hitman who is nicknamed Ladybug by his coordinator (San Antonio vaquita), an irony given the bad luck he believes pursues him everywhere. His last mission is simple: get on the train in Tokyo, steal a briefcase and get off in Kyoto. Of course, from the start, we know that the job will be anything but easy and that the hit man’s attempts to adopt a more zen lifestyle will be buried under tons of bullets, kicks, knives and some ingestion of poison. Tangled up in a plot of various revenges, multiple family conflicts and the over-hiring of sociopaths with hearts of gold, Ladybug manages to capture the viewer’s attention from the first to the last scene thanks to Pitt’s performance which seems more than willing to laugh. to her status as an Oscar-winning actress, idol and action heroine. With life experience as its deadliest weapon – something the film also borrowed from Keanu Reeves’ character in John Wick of which Leitch is one of the producers-, Pitt brings charisma and humor to each appearance.

Endowed with a real talent for directing action scenes, Leitch stumbles by linking explanations, flashbacks and winks around the circus of creatures which revolves around the protagonist. Whether it’s the duo of assassins nicknamed Limón (Brian Tyree Henry) and Mandarina (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), the Mexican mobster Lobo, played by musician Bad Bunny, the deceptively sweet teenager in charge of Joey King and even an essential bottle of water? for the story, they all have scenes to show and to a large extent they do. However, the more time the film devotes to them, the less it focuses on the one character who remains an enigma throughout the film: Ladybug.

As the plot progresses and the Japanese imagery ceases to be surprising and becomes cliche that borders on stereotype, the script seems to forget its best card in its eagerness to include the appearance of several familiar faces who, although that they offer genuinely funny moments, also disperse. the viewer’s attention. And it was perhaps the intention of its filmmakers, to accumulate as many visual stimuli, ideas and characters as to fill all the cars of this train which badly needs emergency braking.

Leave a Comment