film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Bullet Train 2022 * * Stars


"Every job I do, somebody dies". So says Brad Pitt's latest star persona with glasses and bucket hat in toto.

Brad Pitt seems to have found a new career niche for himself. He's now an action star or a brooding butt-kicker. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Lost City, he was likable and curiously intimidating. In 2022's Bullet Train (my latest review), he's surprisingly annoying. Sigh.

A little Guy Ritchie here, a little Tarantino there, a little bit of Smokin' Aces. That's the vibe I got from viewing Bullet Train. Director David Leitch borrows from the best as he fast-cuts, hard cuts, and whip pans his way into oblivion. But hold up, there's more. "Train" is more unfocused than the stuff just mentioned. I mean it's a gory, violent, and unfunny mess. Heck, there's a whole lot of movie going on in the Pokemon-looking throes of the overextended Bullet Train. Sometimes too much is not always a good thang.

Now did I enjoy the bone-cracking fight sequences in "Train?" I did but the problem was the screeching halts in between comprised of deficient dialogue and badly dead-panned, dry humor. And did I think Bullet Train needed a better editor to condense its manifold running time of 126 minutes? Oh you betcha. "Train" has enough subplots, put-ons, and flashbacks to power a small country. There's just too many "bullet" points and you don't see Pitt's Ladybug for extended periods of time.

As something about some hired guns on a moving train headed to God knows where, Bullet Train would be tighter and more effective if it just learned to not blether and get down to business. It tries to be ultracool, ultramodern, and ultra violent but would rather give audiences a scatty, cinematic copyedit. We're talking a bronze "bullet" here instead of a silver one.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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