The first rule of Bullet Train, directed by David Leitch, in theaters in Italy on August 25, 2022 for Warner Bros / Sony Pictures Italia, is that you shouldn't talk too much about the cast of Bullet Train. Because this colorful, violent and very funny action movie.
The director is the same as Deadpool 2, he is keen to take the viewer off guard and, inevitably, ends up being jealous of his secrets. That said, the names that can be talked about quite freely are Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benito A Martínez Ocasio and, here there is no embargo to take, the undisputed star, Brad Pitt. Some surprises must be preserved, anticipating too much would be criminal. Also because there are enough crimes in history.
Bullet Train adapted Kōtarō Isaka's novel The Seven Killers of the Shinkansen for the big screen. The Shinkansen is the very high-speed railway network inaugurated in Japan in the late 1950s, the title of the film instead refers to the popular "bullet trains" that run inside it, in the sign of overwhelming and stylistically well-finished technological progress.
The story travels along the Tokyo-Kyoto route, in the hall you will see who will have to settle for the one way. Between the two cities a distance of several hundred kilometers. The point is that the fastest train in the world can shorten it, sure, but not make it disappear entirely. Fortunately, cinema, this generous time and this limited space, knows how to put them to good use. How, it depends on the budget.
And from the courage of writing and directing that know how to work without fear on the limits (of space, of time). Much depends on fate. Here, fate. The main theme of a film that is not satisfied with lacquered surfaces and a bloody sense of things. But that, indeed, tries to go further. Without exaggerating, because the key to everything is always emotion.
Ladybug (Brad Pitt) is the most unfortunate killer in the world. Or at least that's how he feels, in full existential crisis, while he gets on the bullet train to Kyoto after yet another wrong engagement.
This time it would be a replacement, but that doesn't guarantee anything. Perpetually attached to the phone looking for comfort, details and directions from a warm and calming female voice, she is very famous but better not to spoil too much, on which she depends and would not be said only from a professional point of view.
Possible that Ladybug (she would be ladybug in English) is right about her. This train is not an easy affair. Whether fate or a more earthly will, the fact is that man finds himself surrounded by the most dangerous and fun killer patrol in the world. How many things there are to do as he whizzes around contemporary Japan at breakneck speed.
Ladybug has an interest in getting her hands on a certain briefcase. The briefcase is guarded by twins Lemon (Bryan Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), also busy babysitting her son (Logan Lerman) of a crime legend called White Death. It does not end here.
There is also the irascible (rightly) Benito A Martínez Ocasio, as well as a very dangerous Joey King who disguises herself as a girl to play with the stereotype and, relying on masculine weaknesses / preconceptions / dullness (ste), outwit everyone. She is at the opposite pole of the spectrum from Brad Pitt's existential laments, she firmly believes in luck and in the sense of a destiny to be tamed one death after another.
What the girl is aiming for, or the two natives Andrew Koji and Hiroyuki Sanada, what everyone is aiming for, she will tell only the last station. One way or another, White Death has something to do with it.
In reality, as anticipated at the beginning of the review, there are many surprises and it is better to curb the anxiety from the synopsis a little. There is literally no compartment that does not hold something (or someone) of interest to bring to the attention of the viewer.
Bullet Train's trick is to amass very different acting styles, backgrounds, physical abilities, and killing drives, to serve a dual purpose. On the one hand, it is a question of modeling a colorful, frenetic and humor-tinged action, punctuated by glimpses of violence so exaggerated as to dilute its rawness in a perverse and all in all harmless game.
On the other hand, opening the door of action to a more articulated existential reflection, to be handled with care. After all, whatever the name, origin, attitude and specific ability, each killer is confronted with the same age-old question. What relationship do we establish with destiny, mutual collaboration or resigned passivity? Is it possible that luck and bad luck are just a matter of perspective?.
Despite all the sympathy for Brad Pitt and the many co-stars of Bullet Train, mostly really good, it is really hard to speak well of the latest film by director David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw), out in cinemas on 25 August, after the preview that opened on 3 August, in Piazza Grande, the 75th edition of the Locarno film festival.
If for the first 30 minutes you have fun here and there for certain gazed dialogues, super splatter killing and inventiveness in the fighting choreography, at that point it becomes quite clear that someone is missing driving the train and the script.
Taken from the novel The Seven Killers of the Shinkansen by the Japanese Kōtarō Isaka (published in Italy by Einaudi) - is that of a group of assassins who are aboard the high-speed train that connects Tokyo to Kyoto, a bullet convoy that travels at over 300 kilometers per hour.
Pitt is a killer known by the nickname of Ladybug, meaning ladybug. Nickname that does not suit him because, for the duration of the film, he repeats how much he is chased by bad luck. In fact, every time someone tries to kill him and it often happens he complains of his bad luck with his boss: Maria, played by Sandra Bullock who, in the original version, guides and consoles him throughout the journey by voice. through the earphones, except to appear in video for a few seconds at the end of the film.
I sent her on a mission on the train with the intention of entrusting him with a very simple paper task: to retrieve a briefcase full of money and get off at the first stop.
Things, however, will get quite complicated. Also because one of the characteristics of the bullet train is the duration of the stops: 60 seconds, not one more. And, whenever Ladybug is about to step outside, something happens that brings him back inside. In short, Al Pacino's legendary line in The Godfather Part III - "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" on Instagram.
The other killers who travel with him (we will discover in the end that it was not bad luck but a precisely devised plan that brought them all together in those wagons) are: the very British Tangerine "twins" (Aaron Taylor-Johnson who, in Locarno , accompanied the film and received the Excellence Award Davide Campari) and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry), a pair of killers who in some exchanges remember the wonderful Hazel and Cha-Cha, one of the best inventions of The Umbrella Academy series.
Lemon, who of his, seems the smartest, certainly the one with the best dialectic, when he is not busy killing someone and trying not to get killed, he spends most of his time explaining to his twin or anyone who comes under fire. The little train Thomas (the popular English TV series for children of the 1980s) contains everything there is to know about life and others.
In another carriage, we find, instead, Prince (actress Joey King), a flesh and blood version of a Japanese manga - all candy pink outside and a brutal and ruthless murderer inside: just to get another criminal, Kimura, on the train. , which he needs to carry out his plan, pushed his son off the roof, causing him to fall into a coma.
Prince, like a real cartoon (you know Shrek's Puss in Boots?) In a tenth of a second is able to transform from perfect lethal weapon to damsel in distress gushing tears.
So, to go on with the list of killers (there would be others but we stop here) there is The Wolf who, if we exclude the flashback that explains the reason that brought him on that train (He is not the only character with of a backstory parenthesis in the film) ends up dead within a couple of minutes.
Nobody can or wants to get off this speeding train in Japan. Neither Brad Pitt, nor his colleagues - from Aaron Taylor-Johnson to Joey King - nor the public, who are already clamoring for a sequel to Bullet Train. The action of the summer is signed by David Leitch, who has directed some of the most explosive cinematic stories of the last five years such as Atomica Bionda, Deadpool 2 and Fast & Furious - Hobbs & Shaw.
But it is certainly not the curriculum behind the camera that convinced Brad to join the project. In every sense. No, David Leitch has been a close friend of Pitt since he started acting as his stunt double at Fight Club, one of the actor's breakthrough films.
This bond of loyalty that binds the two turns out to be the ace in the hole of an operation designed to perfection and therefore irresistible.
Bullet Train story begins with Ladybug, a clumsy killer played by Brad Pitt who receives a mission to retrieve a briefcase on a train. It seems like a simple simple chore, were it not for this mercenary's tendency to kill targets without even touching them. Whether it is a gift or a curse, this aspect greatly intrigues the clients who continue to entrust him with tasks. The protagonist ignores that other passengers on the train have very different plans - and not just for the briefcase - and many of them are secretly in conflict with each other. And so that a rather ordinary journey turns into an improvised circus where bullets fly, hand-to-hand clashes are consummated and undercover fights are fought to save one's skin.
The frenetic pace, the exotic setting, the stellar cast, the athletic stunts and the captivating soundtrack: there is not a single element out of place in this unmissable action equation.
The tone, then, makes the difference: none of the characters take themselves too seriously, almost aware of being a cog in a much larger machine. The register changes with impressive speed and the public does not have time to absorb the details of some surreal situations that arrive immediately after another crackling surprise.
There is such an almost surgical construction some might say smug - of David Leitch in his latest film Bullet Train, in theaters August 25 with Sony Pictures. An action all set on a moving train two hours in duration just like the route of the real bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto - which owes much of its narrative construction to Agatha Christie's thriller and Alfred Hitchcock's thriller. Let's try to see together how the Yellow Queen and the Thrill Master may have influenced the making of the film.
At one point in the story told in Bullet Train - Brad Pitt plays Ladybug, an unfortunate killer determined to carry out his new mission, but finds a series of obstacles and deadly opponents from all over the globe, all with linked objectives but conflicting - there is a murder which, however, does not immediately catch the eye. At first, the unfortunate event seems like just one of the many unexplained oddities that happen on the moving train, but soon a plot of twists begins to unravel that raises more than a few doubts to the protagonist and the other characters.
When at the end of the film all the pieces will fall into place, complete with a final explanation of a classic yellow in which Michael Shannon replaces Hercule Poirot, it will be understood that the events did not happen by chance and the characters are not on that car on rails by pure coincidence. A bit like what happened in Murder on the Orient Express in which Agatha Christie put a group of patrons on a train to take revenge on another person, guilty of a kidnapping that went wrong many years ago. Here there was another type of kidnapping, there is a ransom that must be resumed and a series of 60-second stops that slow down the retrieval of a mysterious briefcase. All potential suspects on board are revealed to the public throughout the film, through signs that give them a very specific connotation, just like in a textbook mystery.
The briefcase is the other main element of the film, which seems to wink at Alfred Hitchcock and his friend the screenwriter Angus MacPhail, who apparently coined the term MacGuffin, which over the years has become by definition in the cinema an object or an event used as a gimmick.
Narrative and motivation of the characters; it won't have any relevance to the plot, but viewers will focus their attention on what the writer and director want. A similar use but perhaps not literal, given that eventually a narrative sense will have is made by director David Leitch and screenwriter Zak Olkewicz (who adapted Kōtarō Isaka's novel Maria Beetle) in Bullet Train to continually move the attention of the public on a particular object (framed in an almost ostentatious way) rather than on a specific character during the film.
Surely you have seen Brad Pitt dance to the notes of Stayin 'Alive, the famous hit of the 70s, in one of the various stops around the world of the promotional tour of the film Bullet Train. In Italian cinemas from August 25th, this action comedy directed by David Leitch will overwhelm you with its irony and dizzying violence, a clear homage to Quentin Tarantino's cinema.
A high-speed train travels in Japan. Many "bad guys" sit in the different wagons, each with a mission to complete. Ladybug (Brad Pitt) is a mercenary from the underworld who takes orders from a female voice on the phone and must retrieve a briefcase in the hands of the pair of funny and elegant criminals who call themselves Lemon and Tangerine, played by Aaron Taylor Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry . They travel with the son of the powerful boss known as the White Death, while the young Prince (Joey King), a student all spicy and resourceful, holds a Japanese hostage in the service of the underworld to get to eliminate the big boss.
Bullet Train is a dynamic and constantly moving film. On board the modern, fluorescent and crowded train, the various characters joke, plot, run and punch and kick each other against the backdrop of a colorful and psychedelic photograph. Loosely based on Kotaro Isaka's Maria Beetle, Leitch's film is written by Zak Olkewicz who respects the director's style while maintaining a high level of irreverent humor and fun as in his previous films.
The audience is overwhelmed by the energy of a story that is not original, but explosive in the staging and hilarious for the situations and dialogues that become the protagonists of a daring and eccentric adventure that also winks at the cinema of Guy Ritchie and Danny Boyle.
Brad Pitt in great shape dusts off his more comical and light-hearted streak, while maintaining his charm in action scenes and in direct confrontations with his antagonists. Many unexpected cameos that will make you smile, but the narrative development is perhaps a bit flat and predictable that takes up ideas already seen giving the impression of heated soup seasoned by a partly and charismatic cast, pop music that makes the leg move while seated in an armchair, and that dose of violence that works and feeds the rhythm in Tarantino's pulp way.
Previewed on the opening day of the Locarno Film Festival 2022, “Bullet Train” is the new adrenaline-pumping action movie directed by David Leitch (former producer of “John Wick“). The stellar cast sees in the ranks a Brad Pitt in better shape than ever, Brian Tyree Henry, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Joey King and a final cameo by Sandra Bullock who originally intended to be of Lady Gaga (already busy filming " House of Gucci ").
We had the opportunity to preview the blender of “Bullet Train“. We did not do it in mild and sly Switzerland, but on a sultry Roman afternoon in August where the asphalt melts under your shoes and the heat wave wraps you in its humid embrace. We tell you our impressions.
Let's start from the plot and start by saying that the film is inspired by a novel by Kotaro Isaka entitled "The seven killers of the Shinkansen". The story obviously takes place in Japan and, as the title of the novel that inspired it suggests, the scene of the story is a Shinkansen.
Corner of cultural study: The Shinkansen is the Japanese railway network on which the so-called "bullet trains" travel, a nickname that was given to these prodigies of technology not only for speed but also and above all for the particular pointed shape reminiscent of that of a bullet. We are talking about beasts that reach about 300 km \ h in a few minutes and that, depending on the model, cover a specific section of Japan. The busiest (and the subject of this film) is the Tokyio - Osaka section of over 500 km that these missiles can cover in just over two hours. So we are not talking about the Line B of Rome which connects Laurentina with Rebibbia.
The protagonist is a serial killer who aspires to a well-deserved retirement. His name is Ladybug (ladybug), a nickname that ironically refers to the peculiarity of the latter of accompanying each mission with a good dose of bad luck. Ladybug, played by a light-hearted Brad Pitt, will have to complete a very simple mission before laying down her arms and enjoying a well-deserved rest: to board the bullet train and retrieve a briefcase whose contents are as precious as mysterious. Once on board, he will discover that his journey is accompanied by a varied collection of characters, each of which is driven by more or less absurd motivations. They all share the same goal: to get their hands on the precious briefcase.
Among the colorful passengers on the train are Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson who play two assassins named “Lemon” (Lemon) and Tangerine (Mandarin). The two hit men, the driving force behind the comic line of the film, clearly mimic the gangsters of "Pulp Fiction" (1994), a cult film by Quentin Tarantino. In particular Taylor-Johnson, winner of a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for "Nocturnal Animals" (2016), we find him definitely at ease in the role of the unscrupulous gangster even if, after every excitement, he tends more and more to resemble Roberto Pruzzo, very strong center forward of AS Roma in the 80s. Those who love football at certain latitudes will understand what I mean.
The alchemy with the other hitman played by Brian Tyree Henry (Eternals' Phastos) works perfectly, giving the film liveliness and a strong vein of irreverent black humor. Tyree Henry plays a murderer whose spiritual guide is not the Bible and Ezekiel's verses, but the Thomas Train cartoons.