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Bullet Train

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

Set in a world of subdued surrealism, a mismatched group of independent assassins journey from Tokyo to Kyoto station, all under the commission of one ominous crime figure: The White Death.

Familiar faces fill a near to all star cast, with drop in cameos from Ryan Reynolds and Channing Tatum. On a whole, I felt this film broke new ground in many aspects, quick transitions, graded and almost beautiful violence (like seen in the Kingsman films). A conjoined genre of western cinema and Anime inspired live action, leads us through a world of dark humour and ultra violence, to a fairly climactic close.

This journey is one for the action lovers, the blood, the gore, the one liners attempting the perfect coalition of violence and humour; it has it all: the perfect film after a frustrating day at work.

For lovers of cinema, true cinema, I would recommend straying away from this one. Bullet Trains half hearted slapstick narrative falls short with its intermittent (jokey) dialogue.

Fluctuating pacing means that moments of high adrenaline, where we feel this films promised narrative will be fulfilled, are cut short by poorly constructed conversations. This flatlined storytelling builds the scene for 3/4 of the film. We are introduced to all the characters at varying points throughout the story, their faceless actions and then (later) the face that belongs to the crime. Some stay with us longer than others, some we like and some we dislike.

Littered with said break away scenes, portraying character origins, allows the evidently inspiring genre, Anime, to come to life in live action. Don’t get me wrong, this film fulfils a lot of cinema cravings (even whilst burrowing into the cliche) but too much was left empty between each milestone, which made a dragged story feel rushed.

However, comical breakaways that visualised conversation, made for a much needed relief from the drab dialogue and limited single location. Said exposition allowed our minds to be brought from the hurtling location the ‘Bullet Train’ and sent down varying splintering paths, to explore a world of sub stories. Many of these stories gave the viewer an inspired feeling, often felt when introduced to characters of mystery, although sadly I felt that some of these stories should have stolen the screen more.

To conclude, ‘Bullet Train’ is a film that fulfils its promise, I felt it was weak in story structure and lacking in aspects of character development but enjoyable nonetheless for its entertainment factor. A film for a rainy day.

⭐️ : 2/5

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