I remember watching a trailer for Bullet Train last year and thought it seemed like a fun movie. It’s tough to tell with action movies because as much as I love them, they tend to follow the same premise. Bullet Train was getting rave reviews, so maybe there was something unique about the movie that made it stand out. Bullet Train was such a fun twist on an action movie. If Knives Out was an action film, that’s how I would describe Bullet Train.
Bullet Train begins with Ladybug (played by Brad Pitt) being sent out on a last-minute job to pick up a briefcase on a train. As Ladybug searches for the briefcase, the film introduces us to “brothers” Lemon (played by Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who are also looking for the briefcase while also protecting “The White Death’s” son who was kidnapped earlier. If that wasn’t enough to keep track of, “The Father” (played by Andrew Koji) is searching the train for the person who pushed his son off a building. “The Father” is knocked out by “The Prince (played by Joey King) who reveals herself as luring “The Father” to the train to help kill “The White Death”, but it’s not revealed why “The Prince” wants the “White Death” dead until later. As the characters fight each other over the briefcase, they realize that details were left out as to why they were asked to be on the train.
As far as the characters, it’s clear that Lemon and Tangerine stole the show. They were hilarious and they had great chemistry together. I would watch a “buddy cop” type film starring Lemon and Tangerine. Lemon talks about his love of the Thomas the Tank Engine TV show and how he would group people as one of the trains on the show. This carried throughout the whole movie with everyone referring to the “double agent” as Diesel, a train on the show. As a side note, there are rumors that Aaron-Taylor Johnson is being auditioned as the next James Bond and after watching Bullet Train, I can see it. Lemon and Tangerine are the best part of this movie.
The reason I would describe Bullet Train as being a “Knives Out” action film is how much mystery there is and how it’s revealed towards the end. There are moments that happen earlier in the film that feels innocuous but then is revealed as being important later on. An example of this is when Ladybug punches a stuffed cat and walks away. The stuffed cat was really an assassin in disguise that Ladybug has to fight later on. The way everything is revealed and tied up at the end is satisfying.
Bullet Train was one of the more memorable action films that I have seen recently. I’m still waiting on a Lemon / Tangerine team-up movie. Hollywood should make that happen.