Movie review: Bullet Train is a milky action movie

Even Brad Pitt can’t save this story, which is more boring than a government report on high-speed rail links

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Since the 1960s, Canadian politicians, journalists, and travel enthusiasts have pondered and discussed the idea of ​​high-speed rail lines connecting Edmonton to Calgary, Windsor to Quebec City, and more. Studies and reports, some with interesting names like Prairie Link, the TRAN committee and the Lynx proposal, have been tabled, filed and forgotten.

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And I’d rather watch a movie about these transportation machinations than sit still High-speed train Again. A history of Canadian public transit would likely contain more fun, humor and excitement than the heavy, overbooked wagon that is the high-speed train.

Mind you, it wouldn’t feature Brad Pitt, who is by far the best thing in this packed film, though his presence helps cement the feeling that he’s both a knockoff of Guy Ritchie (eccentric British assassins and rowdy with brutal accents, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry) and a Quentin Tarantino impersonation, an Asian fusion of blood and revenge.

Pitt plays Ladybug, a Zen hitman whose handler (Sandra Bullock as a voice in his ear) wants him to retrieve a briefcase full of cash, currently in the possession of the aforementioned Brits codenamed Tangerine and Lemon. But it turns out that Ladybug and the Citrus Brothers are just the first of a long list of first-class villains on the Tokyo-Kyoto race.

There’s the wolf (Benito A. Martinez Ocasio), angry at the collateral damage of one of Ladybug’s old missions. There’s the Prince (Joey King), whose schoolgirl attire belies a doctorate level of evil and subterfuge. There’s Zazie Beetz as Hornet, Andrew Koji as Kimura, and Michael Shannon as White Death, waiting at the end of the line.

Director David Leitch (John Wick 1, Deadpool 2), working with an adaptation of Kotaro Isaka’s 2010 novel, packs his film with violent and improbable settings, including a knife fight in an inexplicably empty bar car; punches outside the train, complete with 300 km/h winds; snakes on a train; and a fight between Pitt and Henry in the silent car, which would have been more fun if they had managed to fight in silence, instead of just lowering the volume of the film’s sound mix.

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It’s all pretty exhausting, though my own breaking point was when Pitt’s character suggests misfortune follows him “like…something of the spirit.” You want me to fill in the blanks, movie? It’s like asking passengers to punch their own tickets.

And speaking of ticket punching, High-speed trainThe uncomfortable conduct of has the advantage of creating its own reserve of metaphors that disgruntled viewers can throw back at it. Train crash, off the tracks, out of control, no brakes, I want to get off – the choice is yours.

My personal favorite is decrying the characters’ motivations, while taking comfort in the fact that, contrary to early reports, the film actually doesn’t last longer than the actual two-hour, fifteen-minute drive from Tokyo to Kyoto. Although at two six, I wish this train got to where it was going a little faster.

Bullet Train opens August 5 in theaters.

2 out of 5 stars

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