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Laramie Movie Scope: Bullet Train

Wacky, chaotic action comedy

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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August 10, 2022 – This movie did not turn out to be what I expected it to be — which is a fun action movie. What it turns out to be is an odd assortment of subplots and flashbacks which disrupt the flow of the main story.

I quickly lost patience with this movie after the first few flashbacks and subplots, which are used to introduce some of the main characters, which are many and varied. My eyes started glaze over after a few minutes of this onslaught. In the hands of more skilled filmmakers, all these introductions and back stories perhaps could have been done in more streamlined or interesting ways.

I got the gist of this complicated story eventually, but it felt like homework. It involves a bunch of hired killers on a train, most of which are after a briefcase full of money, which is actually a MacGuffin. Some of these killers, however, are out for revenge against other killers. The main character, code named Ladybug (played by megastar Brad Pitt) has been hired to retrieve the briefcase. He's not a hired killer, but he can handle himself in a violent situation.

Ladybug finds himself in a series of very violent situations because of all the killers on this train have been set up to hunt and kill each other. Ladybug, as it turns out, has been targeted for death by mistake because he is filling in for another guy named Carver. Carver is the guy who was the actual target of the man behind all killings on the train. The ultimate object of all the killings on the train is revenge, of course.

Ladybug thought this was supposed to be a simple case of grabbing the briefcase and turning it over to his employer. Ladybug chose this job because he was tired of violent situations. He tries to talk his way out of each violent situation he finds himself in, but it never seems to work out, mainly because of bad luck.

Ladybug is able to acquire the briefcase with ridiculous ease, but holding onto it is anything but easy, because several dangerous people are after it. Another character who shows up late in the train is the White Death (played by Michael Shannon of “Midnight Special”). The White Death is the feared leader of a powerful criminal organization. Two other criminals also after the briefcase are Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson of “The King's Man”) and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry of “Eternals”).

Ladybug is able to form an alliance with some of the criminals on the train, but only one person on the train seems to know what is really going on, and that is Prince (played by Joey King of “The Princess” on Hulu) and she has a deeply hidden agenda. If you manage to make it through this movie, there is a pretty good extra scene near the beginning of the credits. There is a poisonous snake on the train, too.

Brad Pitt is very good in this film, as are Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry. There are some big action scenes in the film, and there is some comedy, but overall, I think this film is not very well constructed. This film rates a C.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff (no extra charges apply). I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2022 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]