In a recent interview for GQ, Brad Pitt, melancholically contemplating the summer of our anxiety and the autumn of his life, told a journalist that Bullet Train, which broke into the world as a rental at full steam, was developed during the pandemic. When there was absolutely nothing to do. Sadness and longing gripped even Los Angeles. From Pitt’s revelations, we learn that tricks and jokes were written in between art modeling sessions and cooking classes through which the actor tried in vain to distract himself from thoughts of suicide. Perhaps this explains, frankly, the grassroots level of cinematic culture and humor which put the most unpretentious viewer at a dead end. It is awkward to follow what is happening on the screen because of the collective attempts to entertain the viewer. I remember, at the height of covid, everyone was talking about how this new life would not leave a stone unturned from the old. Now it is clear that nothing new has happened on the planet, it’s just that everything bad has become even worse.
Of course, director David Leitch, who served a significant part of his career as an understudy for Brad Pitt, hardly inspired anyone with high hopes, but with the beginning of Bullet Train, Leitch made the audience lose their last illusion–there were no such bad pictures in the filmography of the most intelligent Hollywood star yet. Even out of friendship, Pitt shouldn’t have taken part in this medley of old songs.
At first, Antoine Fuqua worked on the film adaptation of Kotaro Isaki’s novel of the same name. He planned to shoot the darkest B movie with a lot of violence and rare inclusions of black humor. However, Leitch, also the writer behind John Wick, resolutely moved in the opposite direction. Therefore, his version looks like a remake of any Guy Ritchie film, but terrible.
The plot of Bullet Train is blatantly primitive. On the Tokyo-Kyoto high-speed train, by coincidence and through the stupidity of the screenwriters, several hired assassins are simultaneously competing with each other for a case with cash. All flags are represented on a visit to the Japanese railways. Here is a desperado from Mexico City who wants to avenge the death of his bride, poisoned right at the wedding. And two British gentlemen, naturally dressed in tweed three-piece suits, incompetently cosplay as Jules and Vincent, but instead of quotes from the Bible, before every bloodshed their discourse is full of references from anime for first graders. As part of the naive advertising of feminism, there are as many as three female characters armed with a cobra, TNT, and walkie-talkies. And, of course, pretending to be a kind old man who has read esoteric literature: Brad Pitt. In the end good triumphs over evil, but not over bad taste.
Honestly, we are ready to look at Brad Pitt under any circumstances, except for the above. A man who once bore the proud name of Tyler Durden, and yesterday responded to Cliff Booth, now agrees to the cartoon nickname Ladybug? Brad, take your smoothie, let’s go home, ’cause you’re smarter than a bullet.