The plot follows a number of different assassins/thieves all getting on the same bullet train in Tokyo, not knowing that goals coincide. “Ladybug” is on a mission for an unavailable colleague to steal a briefcase said to be on the train. The English brothers, “Lemon'' and “Tangerine” are the briefcase holders, and are ordered to bring it and “The Son,” whom they rescued from kidnappers, to a Russian yakuza boss named “The White Death.” Yuichi, “The Father,” boards the train looking for the one who attacked his son. “The Prince,” who is actually female, and the attacker of Yuichi’s son. There is also “The Hornet,” who is after “The Son,” and “The Wolf,” who is after the one who poisoned his wife and wedding party.
The characters themselves are a big part of what makes the film stand out. The confused, logical demeanor of “Ladybug” makes him an oddly relatable main character, and Brad Pitt does a good job of embodying the character. The same should be said for Joey King as “The Prince.” She performs incredibly as a confident, two-faced manipulator and makes for a great villain character. The relationship between Lemon and Tangerine is one of the best parts of the film. Every time they talk with each other, it definitely seems like they are siblings. I could listen to their banter for ages. There is also a bit of sibling love thrown in, which is a nice contrasting touch to a film where many characters are fueled by hate and revenge. Some of the characters, namely The Hornet and The Wolf, are lesser points of this film. Bullet Train is based on a novel, so it may not be inherently the fault of the director or screenwriter, but they both are plot devices. The scenes that contain each of them are entertaining and do add to the overall film, however their characters do not hold a lot of weight. The Wolf is added to stop Ladybug from getting off the train, and The Hornet is there to be the in plot reason The Wolf gets on the train and to cause problems with her snake/snake venom. These characters were meant to be minor and to pave the way for the main ones.
Of course I can’t stop talking about a film directed by the same artist who directed the John Wick series without talking about the action. It is everything you expect, violent, bloody, clever, and pretty funny in some instances. The action is a crucial part of the movie where everyone has a legitimate reason for fighting while still being over-the-top. The puzzle piece feel of the film culminates with the choreographic fights, which is where pieces of the plot develop or end due to what happens during or after the fight.
From departure to arrival, Bullet Train never fails to keep you entertained. The plot keeps building to the end with great direction, action, and characters. The style is different and charming, with everything culminating in spectacular fight scenes. While a few additions may seem convoluted, Bullet Train delivers on creating a fun experience backed up by real quality, definitely an unexpected hit.