Directed by David Leitch
Written by Zak Olkewicz
Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree-Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benito A Martinez Ocasio, Zazee Beetz, Logan Lerman, Masi Oka, Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock.
Set on the Bullet Train in Japan, this action yarn sees an assassin – code-named Butterfly (Pitt), taking over for another hit-man who called in sick, to retrieve a briefcase. It is currently in possession of ‘twins’ code-named Tangerine and Lemon, (Taylor Johnson and Tyree Henry), and owned by The White Death. They are also bringing his son home to him. Fellow travellers are Yuichi, who is trying to find out who pushed his ten year old son from the top of a building, and disguised as a school girl another assassin, code-named The Prince (King). Along the journey to Kyoto, several other assassins get on board, and some might be hidden in plain sight since the beginning.
It is overly colourful and styalised – which is a complete contrast to the actual bullet train. (Humble brag, but I have been on a version myself).
The “Family Guy” style cutaway gags are a little overused, while some are quite funny I will admit, they take away from the overall narrative – which itself struggles to get going for about an hour – and when the movie is two hours long, this is too much of the film. It also feels a little long, hampered by the overly frequent cutaways that seem to be used.
There is a fun soundtrack, with some Japanese versions of popular songs. “Holding out for a Hero” which is used towards the end of the film is a fun little number.
There is obviously some unbeleivable stunts throughout, and as much as it pains me to say, Pitt is possibly a little past his prime in this sort of role now. His character suits the personality of Pitt sure, but it feels like he should have done this role around 20 years ago.
There is also some questionable special effects, especially in a film with a budget of $90m. There is a questionable scene that takes place in the last half hour of the film that has such jarring special effects, i’m not sure if it was trying to poke fun at the obsurdity in the action taking place.
This is far from a bad movie, but it’s not a great movie. If you’re just looking for a silly action piece, then this is perfect.