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Movie Review: The Bullet Train with David Leitch

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worthy of a movie titled bullet training, David Leitch’s latest action comedy is worth watching. For the price of just one of his tickets, you can see Brad Pitt, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Zazie Beetz and other Hollywood celebrities acting up to six different stories in one of his films. .

based on the novel Maria Beetle Written by Kotaro Isaka (later translated into English) bullet train), the film tells the story of a group of professional thieves and assassins pursuing their own goals aboard a bullet train traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto. Most of the character’s ethnicity was changed from Japanese to American, British, etc. in a move condemned by the Japanese American Citizens League (although the author didn’t seem to care). But the story framework underneath it all remains largely faithful to Isaka’s novel. But then the movie adds to it.

By including a subplot about a Russian who has made his way up the Yakuza hierarchy, bullet train Brings many elements of Martin Zandvliet’s 2018 thriller outsider, Starring Jared Leto. And because the former Japanese setting is ultimately reduced to some overly stylized backgrounds, much of the film eerily resembles a Guy Moshe action movie. Bunraku (2010).

Add to that the mix of farcical hyper-violence and characters engaging in verbal jousts that look like they came right out of a Guy Ritchie movie, and you might start to worry. I can’t. bullet train A little out of focus. And we’re not done listing all of its obvious influences.

While it’s definitely not a musical, music plays a big part in Leach’s film, with a lot of the players and action moving to the beat of the soundtrack.Sometimes everything feels like big-budget music in his videos… like James in his Samuel’s 2021 ‘Music Experience’ It makes it harder for them to fall.

and there is John Wick connection.Much of the Keanu Reeves action movie plot was actually handed out early on through a clever Easter egg where background characters are shown reading the book. Shibumi. The 1979 novel by Trevanian (Rodney William Whitaker’s pseudonym), reduced to its most basic elements, is a highly skilled assassin fighting the Russians, using everyday items as weapons, and sniping enemies with a pencil. even kill some of thehappens in John Wick.

However, the book also has strong ties to Japanese culture that weren’t really present in the 2014 film. bullet trainwhich similarly features Russian-fighting assassins using everyday items as weapons, one of whom (played by Joey King) also shows reading Shibumi in one scene.

Ninety-nine percent of the time, such a hodgepodge of ideas and inspiration becomes a recipe for disaster and full-on tonal flogging, but Leach and screenwriter Zak Olkewitz do it with a few smart choices. make it work.

For one thing, they didn’t make Pitt the hero of the movie. His face may be on every poster, but he’s not the typical heroic protagonist who finally saves the day. Instead, Pitt’s character, a mercenary codenamed Ladybug, is a self-pitying whine who constantly talks about his bad luck. Pitt is essentially a character actor who has been forced to play the lead role for so long that he disappears into the role.

To clarify, he always good It’s a hero’s job as the main character, but if you give him a quirky oddball and play with him, he brings an absolute A-game to the table. bullet train. His exceptional performance helps anchor the film and keep it from falling apart with all of the different nods and references to other works.

Second, the film prepares the audience early on for its own blend of style and tone. It begins with a dramatic scene in which a mobster accepts his son’s near-death accident, then abruptly cuts to a neon title card and the Japanese version of “Stayin’ Alive.” This quickly shows that the film makes many interesting choices.

bullet train It also really adds to the humor, allowing it to sidestep the impossible blender approach to characters and script. No, but it’s hard to get mad at a movie you’ve made. water bottle one of the main characters. It makes sense in context.

That being said, it’s completely understandable that you wouldn’t be able to attend the film due to its chaotic nature. many The freedom to introduce Japanese culture to Western audiences.

Finally, bullet train is a circus show in which a bloody clown juggles dozens of ideas and Hollywood stars against a hastily painted backdrop of Mount Fuji. And the whole circus explodes in a giant action-packed fireball. If the description piqued your interest, bullet train It just might be the movie for you. Otherwise… no one will blame you.

Shinkansen is currently showing in theaters across Japan.