“Bullet Train” is completely off the rails, mostly in a good way.
It’s absolute madness that will appeal to aficionados of Quentin Tarantino movies, the “John Wick” franchise and Guy Ritchie films.
Brad Pitt stars as the central character whose code name is Ladybug. An assassin, Ladybug is trying to take a more philosophical, and less violent, approach to his life and his “assignments.” He does accept a job from his handler (Sandra Bullock) to steal a metal briefcase from a passenger on the bullet train that traverses Japan.
Among the other criminals on the train are the likeable “twins,” Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry). There’s also the innocent-looking Prince (Joey King) and stars whose names I won’t mention in enjoyable cameos. (Hint: David Leitch, who helmed this movie, also directed “Deadpool 2.”
Lemon lives his life by applying sayings and behavior patterns from “Thomas the Tank Engine” to everyone and every situation.
Veteran actor Hiroyuki Sanada (you’ll recognize him from “The Last Samurai” and “Army of the Dead”) also appears as man bent on revenge. And Bad Bunny is hilarious in his role as The Wolf, who wants to kill Ladybug for a prior transgression.
It’s the details that matter here, and some, such a highly venomous snake and a bottle of Fiji water, are used for effective dark comedy. Everything comes together during the finale,
Although this is an action comedy, it’s not for the nervous. The bloodshed quotient is incredibly high, so it is not for those who don’t enjoy “R”-rated films.
Those who appreciate dark humor, though, will want to take this ride.
Rated: R for graphic violence, gore, and foul language.
Running time: Two hours and six minutes.
At Cinemark, Davenport; Regal, Moline; and Palms 10, Muscatine.
Watch the trailer here.