Bullet Train is an Entertaining Thriller


Sony Pictures

“Bullet Train” is one of the movies from last year that I had been meaning to watch for ages, but also didn’t feel too guilty about missing out on until now, as it wasn’t something people were really talking about. That being said, having gotten around to it now, I can say Bullet Train has a lot going for it, and a few things holding it back.

“Bullet Train” is a story about a bunch of different people, mostly criminals involved in organized crime in some way, trying to essentially kill someone, some of those people being on the train and some not. Any more information will give away important information and reveals, some of which I did not see coming.

Because of this dark premise, the humor used consistently throughout this film is a bold choice, but one I personally think worked in their favor. Lemon and Tangerine are hilarious, the ongoing bit about one of the killers constantly talking about his therapist is good, and some of the payoffs are pretty solid. I would not say that I laughed consistently throughout this film, but I certainly did a few times. If you’re looking for just a dark action film, this is not the one for you. On the other hand though, this is a very bloody and gorey movie, so if you’re looking for just a comedy with no gore or action, this is also not the film for you.

The first thing that really stands out to me about this film is its soundtrack. It has a ton of music, some covers and some originals. Most are upbeat pop songs framing brutally bloody fights or insane explosions, but there are a few somber choices as well for more emotional moments. The way the music framed the scenes felt very reminiscent of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise to me, and fans of that franchise will probably appreciate this film for a few similar reasons.

Also reminiscent of “Guardians of the Galaxy”, was the color and lighting in this film. Thrillers and action sequences have a tendency to swing on the darker side, gritter tension is usually portrayed well through muted colors and darker lighting. This film does not do that, and that is absolutely the correct choice for this tone of movie. There is bright neon lighting in many places on the train, colorful backings to scenes, and eventually a sunrise to light up the film.

The biggest issue with this film is that the plot feels a bit off at times. The characters motivations are known, but a bit unclear in the beginning which is fine, but a lot of the reasoning isn’t really even explained at all until the last 20 minutes. If this were a true mystery story instead of a half-mystery half-action-thriller half-comedy that would be one thing, but trying to be multiple genres at once made things a bit muddy. There were a lot of plots to follow, and they all did connect well in the end, which was satisfying, but at times people would interact and it would just feel like, “wait—how did they know each other again?”

Overall, this was a very fun movie to watch, and I would say is worth checking out if you enjoy action/comedies. If you’re looking for a perfect mystery you’ll likely be disappointed, but for fans of action who are looking to relax for two hours and have a few laughs, “Bullet Train” is engaging, entertaining, funny, and bloody. A fun weekend watch if it’s not taken too seriously.