Published in 2010 by the Japanese writer Kōtarō Isaka, “Maria Bītoru” or “Maria Beetle” in English, is being adapted into a feature film called “Bullet Time”. This fiction turns out to be rhythmic, funny, with a 3-star distribution and where you have to be wary of passengers…
Assassin considering himself unlucky, nevertheless good at carrying out his contracts, Ladybug decided to carry out his new job in the most pacifist way possible. To do so, he must retrieve a briefcase with contents unknown to him from a Shinkansen bound for Kyoto. In his profession, the less he knows about his goals, the less he will kill and the better off he will be according to his recent mantras. But as dear Ladybug knows, a mission rarely goes according to plan. From unexpected encounters to fearsome outsiders, the man in the hat is going to have to hit hard, fast and keep a low profile as best he can. Because despite him, many conflicts will be created and his destination will not be as relaxing as hoped. Once arrived at the terminus either…
Behind the cameras of this action film tinged with a good dose of humor and with a very Japanese environment, the former stuntman of Keanu Reeves (“Toy Story 4”) David Leitch, transposes the aforementioned bestselling novel into the hat, in a production with the right dose of adrenaline.
At the level of the scenario, the Japanese novelist quoted in the hat, also participated in its adaptation and alongside it, the screenwriter Zak Olkewicz (“Fear Street – Part 2: 1978”). A transposition therefore working wonderfully with a neat and pleasant staging, colorful characters and who appreciate all the possible weapons presenting themselves in front of their hands.
Headlining “Bullet Train”, Brad Pitt (“Ad Astra”) once again represents a character with an attitude that is always very relaxed and reacts with confidence. Obviously, its protagonist actually has a lot of cracks and his past will often be linked to them. This, thanks to, or because of, the enemies he will encounter in the various carriages of the Japanese trains.
Alongside the said actor, a host of his colleagues who all have specific characteristics in relation to their character, their dress and of course, their know-how as professional killers.
If the passion of “Lemon”, played by Brian Tyree Henry (“The Eternals”), amuses a lot, that the skilful “Tangerine” embodied by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Tenet”) releases the British class with excellence, it is the Japanese-English actor Andrew Koji (“Snake Eyes”) who gets the most attention thanks to his character carrying out rather drastic investigations and for very personal reasons.
In addition to these services, the madness of the human species remains quite intelligently demonstrated through “Bullet Train”. Whether it’s the destructive anti-heroes, or the famous Japanese culture fairly well represented in the cars of the famous very high-speed train.
Musically, the soundtrack written by Dominic Lewis (“Pierre Lapin 2: Panique en ville”) adapts perfectly well to the universe of each of the places that “Ladybug”, or “Ladybug” in French, and its enemies cross. . However, it would have been more original to choose more titles related to Japan, whether it’s his own creation, or songs with a little too international sounding.
The bloody aspect is not forgotten and it is also a pleasure to discover. If the weapons all turn out to be quite crazy, the fights and probable deaths will amuse the spectators fond of this kind of tasty moments. And we shouldn’t necessarily expect everyone to die as suggested…
Finally, if “Bullet Train” lacks a bit of creative madness, the rhythm, the stunts, the facets of the characters and the many surprises of the feature film, allow you to have a good time and to understand a little more, the functioning trains in Japan.
US, JP – 2021 – 152min – Action
Director: David Leitch
Actor: Karen Fukuhara, Brad Pitt, Zazie Beetz, Sandra Bullock, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Pasha D. Lychnikoff, Michael Shannon, Logan Lerman, Andrea Muñoz
04.08.2022 at the cinema
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