- 15 cert, 126 min. Director: David Leitch. Starring: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Benito A Martínez Ocasio, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Zazie Beetz, Sandra Bullock.
What modern blockbuster wouldn’t like to be compared to a bullet train? Exotic, sleek, unstoppably propelling, designed with precision and panache – in any country, East, West or in between, “the Shinkansen of action movies” would be a serious compliment.
Sony Pictures’ Bullet Train, on the other hand, is the cinematic equivalent of the delayed 5:20 p.m. to Didcot Parkway, sitting on a siding somewhere outside Reading with broken air conditioning, a closed buffet car, canceled seat reservations, the “See it, say it, sorted” announcement on repeat, and no trolley service due to crew shortage.
Brad Pitt stars as a low-level assassin codenamed Ladybug, who is ordered by a largely unseen Sandra Bullock—just the first of a trio of grinning star cameos, here—to extract a briefcase full of cash and bullion from a bullet train. making its way from Tokyo to Kyoto at night. (In the real world, this journey takes a minute less to complete than it does to watch Bullet Train, and feels about five hours shorter.)