Film Review – Bullet Train (2022)

films, reviews

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

We’re going away tomorrow, so I should really be finishing packing. Or, at least, getting an early night so I can finish packing in the morning. Admittedly, we’re not setting off early but it still doesn’t seem wise to be sitting up writing blog posts. Still, I actually watched a film this week that wasn’t a rubbish animated film. It was a film that I was actually looking forward to seeing. I was meant to see it at the cinema when it came out but that never happened. It’s taken a while but I finally go around to it this week. All the more impressive considering it’s the first film I’ve seen in ages that’s had a run time of over 90 minutes.

I didn’t realise Bullet Train got such a lukewarm reception when it was released. I thought it was a big deal but all of the reviews tended to be middling. I guess I can see why though. There’s not much to the story and it doesn’t really justify a full 2 hours. Things very quickly descend into violence without meaning. Now, I don’t necessarily think that’s a problem when it’s as entertaining as this film is. I know it’s mindless and stupid but it’s also fun. Why not get a bunch of people on a train and have them beat the shit out of each other for no reason?

It’s also not as if this kind of thing hasn’t happened before. Quentin Tarantino has made a career out of cartoonish levels of violence. Not that I’m even trying to compare Bullet Train to anything by Tarantino. He may be problematic in some areas but at least Tarantino knows his way around a script. I won’t pretend that the story or dialogue is that memorable. It’s all just incidental stuff that happens to break up all of the blood spilling. When the big reveals finally come, they don’t exactly pay off. It’s all pretty contrived and only barely holds together.

After all, this film is style over substance. There is no real depth to it. There’s obviously an attempt at a message but the film is just surface level. Admittedly, the style is very good and highly entertaining. We get a whole host of assassins to watch and they’re all pretty memorable. Although, I personally found Joey King’s British accent really irritating. It’s not the worst attempt I’ve ever heard but it never felt authentic. Still, I had a great time watching this despite the lack of substance. The film is at its best when Brad Pitt is on screen and he seems to have a lot of fun.

Bullet Train isn’t big or clever. It’s pretty stupid really. However, I like stupid sometimes. If you’re looking for frenetic pace and endless violence then this might be for you. If you like stylised, cartoonish fighting without much point then sit back and enjoy. It never pretends to be anything else. It just wants to take you on a journey and it’s a pretty thrilling one.

3 thoughts on “Film Review – Bullet Train (2022)

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