7/10 Director David Leitch’s (“Atomic Blonde”, “Deadpool 2”) latest action bonanza, “Bullet Train” is one of those rare films where the trailer is 100% authentic to how the film actually is, as opposed to being misleading. “Bullet Train” is a ridiculous, over the top but super fun thrill ride that, while not based in any realism, is still a total blast. Before I get into why this fun action film is worth checking out, I will get the negative aspects out of the way first. While the film wisely utilizes flashbacks as a fun way of showing (rather than telling) exposition, there is still a fair amount of spoken exposition, which came across as clunky and forced. Most of the exposition came via Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry). Speaking of those two, early on in the film they realize that a briefcase that they need is missing. Instead of immediately spreading out to search the train, they talk for an extended period of time, which was pretty stupid and a waste of time for their characters. While the first two acts are over the top but fun, the third act literally and figuratively goes off the rails and just became too much. Much like Leitch’s previous movie to this one, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”, Leitch goes full “Fast & Furious” (never go full “Fast & Furious”) with destroying any semblance of realism that was left. A crash that surely would have killed everyone involved leaves survivors with only a couple scratches (who are these people; Bruce Willis in “Unbreakable”?) but by that point, you will have had to accept the fact that this film is supposed to be downright over the top and ridiculous. Lastly, there is one cringe line that Brad Pitt (Ladybug) utters about mansplaining, which was painful to listen to and out of place. That being said, the cast is fantastic and having a blast here. Pitt provides some humor while he is trying to become more zen and calm, which becomes increasingly difficult as he faces more and more enemies who are trying to kill him. The supporting cast is great with several actors coming and going quickly but leaving memorable moments behind. Taylor-Johnson stood out the most in terms of terrific supporting actors while Joey King as Prince did the same for supporting female roles in the film. The visuals are great as the violence and fight choreography is a blast to watch. There are some really fun cameos and an odd “The Lost City” reunion, which was unexpected. The score and soundtrack make this an extremely high energy film and even though the film is just over two hours, the pacing flies by like a bullet train due to all of the chaos breaking out on the train. While many films become too over the top to the point of stupidity (again, I’m looking at you “Fast & Furious” franchise), this film is just a high speed, high energy thrill ride that made me genuinely happy to watch due to how fun and cool it was. Where most films are either flat out bad or they are great but are more serious, Oscar related fare, “Bullet Train” ends up being a good film that doesn’t take itself seriously and whose mission is just to be as fun as possible, which it clearly succeeds. Buy a ticket to this train ride and if you know what kind of film you’re watching, you won’t be disappointed.

#SlugLadybug / #TheLostCityOfT / #TokyoSwift / #WhenLifeGivesYouLemon / #TheHissingBooth / #OceansFreight

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