Brad Pitt film goes off the rails, critics say

August 4, 2022 6:30 am

[Source: BBC]

Critics mostly wanted to get off the Bullet Train, with many saying Brad Pitt’s new movie goes off the rails.

The film, directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2), is a westernised big screen re-working of a bestselling 2010 novel by Japanese author Kōtarō Isaka.

Pitt plays a returning hitman taking on a series of assassins, under instruction from his handler (Sandra Bullock), en route from Tokyo to Kyoto.

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The Guardian described it as “weirdly exhausting and overwhelmingly unfunny”.

“It rattles strenuously on and on and on with unexciting and uninterestingly choreographed fights, cameos which briefly pep up the interest and placeholder non-lines where the funny material should have gone,” wrote Peter Bradshaw, in his two-star review.

Pitt’s puppyish good nature keeps it from flatlining entirely but he doesn’t have anything like the script and direction that he got from Soderbergh or Tarantino or Fincher.

“And the Japanese setting is handled really cursorily; there are gags about Japanese toilets which should have gone out in the 1980s. This is a tourist ride to nowhere.”

The action-comedy film was released in the UK on Wednesday.

It sees Pitt, playing the experienced-but-unlucky-of-late assassin Ladybug, newly committed to personal growth and returning to the criminal fold with apparently simple orders from Bullock’s Maria Beetle to collect a briefcase on the titular bullet train.

Along the way though, the American finds himself competing with a string of other eccentric hired killers – played by the likes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Joey King and the rapper Bad Bunny – who also have their eyes on the goods.

Reviewing it for the Telegraph, Robbie Collin was even less impressed than Bradshaw, awarding it only one star, while labelling Bullet Train “the cinematic equivalent of the delayed 17.20 to Didcot Parkway”.

He wrote: “The film’s version of Japan, largely rendered in computer graphics, is clankingly inauthentic, while the script, adapted by Zak Olkewicz, veers between edginess by committee – lots of swearing and wannabe Guy Ritchie riffing – and sometimes staggering laziness.”