Bullet Train, Brad Pitt’s collaboration with John Wick co-director David Leitch, goes from entertaining to annoying, as it gets a little too cute with its slick style and quick action.
Pitt is funny as Ladybug, an unlucky hired assassin who gets a mysterious gig onboard a bullet train in Japan. With his mentor (a fairly well-known actress by the name of Sandra Bullock) talking into his earpiece, he finds out there are many other assassins onboard—and a lot of fights are coming.
It all leads up to a conclusion that feels a little bit like a cheat—a mystery that is impossible to solve given the clues Leitch and the screenplay lay out. Yes, it involves a fun cameo or two, but it just doesn’t feel like a fair payoff.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the second-best thing in the movie after Pitt; he plays Tangerine, a fast-talking hothead straight out of a Guy Ritchie movie. Brian Tyree Henry is also good as Tangerine’s brother and fellow assassin; the cast works hard to bring all the pieces together. Ultimately, all of those pieces don’t add up to much, as the film feels like a thousand others that have played before it. It’s a standard-issue thriller, and the setting on a super-fast train doesn’t make it feel fresh.
This is too bad, because Leitch is usually a fun director, and Pitt is in fine form here. You won’t walk out of Bullet Train mad that you’ve seen an awful movie, but you will walk out feeling dejected at its mediocrity.