“Bullet Train,” January 15, 2023 (2022), DVD. We both enjoyed this very funny battle of assassins during a trip on one of Japan’s amazing bullet trains. To my great pleasure and surprise, the dialogue was crisp and very funny, the acting was excellent, the fight scenes (choreographed by director/stunt/fight coordinator David Leitch). It was lots of fun to watch these global assassins take one another on as they try to figure out what the hell is happening and why.
Brad Pitt was excellent as Ladybug, a ‘snatch and grab’ man who, after therapy, is trying to become less violent and crazed. So are many wonderful actors I should know and don’t. Bad Bunny (who I do know) has a short but wacked out turn as one, while Aaron Taylor-Johnson are unlikely bickering twins I should know but don’t. Zazie Beetz who I know from another Leitch film, “Deadpool II,” is a wonderful villain as is Joey King who I’ve not seen before. Hioryuki Sanada and Andrew Koji are Yakuza with a soul while Michael Shannon is a fearsome killing machine but a bit more.
Indeed, one of the most interesting aspects of the film is that many of the characters become vastly more complex as their backstories come out. There’s emotional depth to these criminals and murderous assassins. A good script, talented actors, and excellent directing helped make this work as well as it does. It was a pleasure to see, especially after the unsatisfying “Glass Onion” we watched a few days before.