Brad Pitt's charm saves the 'Bullet Train' - film critic

Cinema & TV

Writed by - Andy Gocker
  Brad Pitt looks great even with numerous scratches
Brad Pitt looks great even with numerous scratches © SONY PICTURES RELEASING GMBH

by Mireilla Zirpins

To 'Ad Astra' and his Oscar win for „Once Upon A Time In Hollywood“ Brad Pitt is finally back as the main actor, just as we love him: impudently good-looking, with slacker slacker charm and bucket hat, he mimics a contract killer who would rather discuss conflicts out. But of course it doesn't work. In his seemingly undemanding job on a high-tech train, things quickly get so intense that we viewers have the feeling that our heads are about to be blown off too.

The motto of 'Bullet Train': Guy Ritchie meets Quentin Tarantino

A professional killer who is fed up with his job? We've seen it many times. But it's not every day that we see someone who leaves the gun in the locker and constantly secretes 'meaningful' calendar sayings. And certainly not one who trudges along as casually as Brad Pitt as a man for the rough with the cute camouflage name 'Ladybug' - ladybug. If it wasn't for him, we would probably only have half as much interest in watching the rather violent thriller 'Bullet Train' - a bloodshed that uses all kinds of classics and genres in a good mood and with a catchy soundtrack - motto: Guy Ritchie meets Quentin Tarantino .

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"Bullet Train"-Trailer -  Mord im Japan-Express

Brad Pitt plays an unlucky hitman

  The"Zwillinge" aus "Bullet Train: Aaron Taylor-Johnson und Brian Tyree Henry
Bullet Train's 'Twins': Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry © SONY PICTURES RELEASING GMBH

Troubled hitman 'Ladybug' struggles with his job and desires a more spiritually fulfilling occupation. He reluctantly fills in for a colleague because the job seems appropriately bloodless to him. On behalf of Maria (Sandra Bullock), he is only supposed to get a suitcase from a Shinkansen, the Japanese bullet train. Sounds easy: grab your suitcase and get out at the next stop - but be careful, that's not like the German train. The high-tech train is punctual and only stops for exactly one minute. And there are more crooks on the train, including Aaron Taylor-Johnson ( „Tenet“ ) und Brian Tyree Henry ( 'Eternals' ) as an unequal 'pair of twins', none of whom are up to anything good: armed to the teeth, for example, watch over the suitcase or, if necessary, violently prevent others from getting out. In addition, there are more nasty surprises lurking at almost every stop, so that the poor 'Ladybug' has to get back on and get violent more often than he would like.

Sleek Carnage: Bullet Train lives up to its name

  Joey King sees as a girlie"Prince" nur harmlos aus, ist es aber nicht
Joey King only looks harmless as the girlie 'Prince', but it isn't © SONY PICTURES RELEASING GMBH

The merciless and styled carnage with its trendy flashbacks and the decidedly cool style wants to be a mix of 'Snatch', 'Kill Bill' and 'Pulp Fiction' on rails. But the orgy of violence (FSK 16) by Brad Pitt's former stunt double David Leitch, now also successful as a director with films such as 'John Wick', 'Deadpool 2' or 'Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw', is more reminiscent with the setting on the train on 'Murder on the Orient Express', staged not as a who-done-it, but as a who's-gonna-do-it. A large proportion of the passengers, including a few nice cameos, are extremely violent, even the harmless-looking girl in pink (Joey King from The Kissing Booth). The fake blood squirts out by the bucketful in close combat and all nasty tricks are used to fight and kill.

More brutal than funny: Brad Pitt is particularly convincing in “Bullet Train”.

In the end, it's much more brutal than funny and wears off a bit in its claimed coolness until the slightly disappointing finale. But Brad Pitt's lustfully laid-back performance keeps us going. In his increasingly filthy fishing hat he mimics the silty unlucky so enthusiastically that we are happy to stay on board the 'Bullet Train', even if the journey sometimes seems a bit long to us with a moderate playing time of 126 minutes.

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