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"Bullet Train" Review: An Absurd and Exaggerated Journey

Bad Bunny's film debut mixes good action, absurd narratives and extremely derisive humor. Without spoilers, here we present our review of "Bullet Train".

Frame from the movie 'Bullet Train'

Photo: YT-Sony Pictures

LatinAmerican Post | Yolanda González Madrid

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Ever since the first trailers for "Bullet Train" came out, many of us have been waiting for an action-packed movie. However, while it is true that this is a large part of its premise, there are more elements that make this production an interesting cocktail that is worth sitting down to see. Extreme violence, scenes that border on the absurd, dark comedy, and an all-star cast are the first-class passengers on this cinematic journey.

The plot is quite simple. A character nicknamed Catarina has a mission to get hold of a briefcase from a train that goes from Tokyo to Kyoto and deliver it to the latter station. However, throughout the stretch you will meet other contract killers, whose missions are interconnected and that will mean that very few reach the end. Who will make it out of the trip alive?

Based on the novel "Maria Beetle" by Japanese writer Kōtarō Isaka, "Bullet Train" may enchant or disappoint you, depending on which eye you look at it with. The dynamism that director David Leitch injects into this work is extraordinary. In addition, it is complemented by performances by stars such as Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Joey King, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon and Bad Bunny.

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First Class Adrenaline

One detail to keep in mind is that the story moves as fast as the train itself. There are few moments to take a breath between so much frenzy and action sequences that leave the dialogues in the background. In fact, those well-timed fights, full of vertigo and ingenuity, are the engine of “Bullet Train”. Sometimes, the film errs by going too far back to explain an event related to what is being seen.

The first few minutes are focused on introducing the characters, since it is they and their rich variety who sustain this absurd and exaggerated thriller. Each one has their charisma and peculiarity, and that is the hook for us to emotionally connect with them from start to finish, no matter how long they last on screen. And yes, as expected, with so many killers in one place, the chances of everyone surviving are very low.

In turn, for those who know David Leitch's filmography, they know that this production will be a roller coaster in every way. Just as it dives into a classic thriller, it changes you out of nowhere into a black comedy, only to ultimately lean into the drama. What's more, this last stretch of the film has the charm (or disenchantment) of it all, thanks to its twists and unlikely sequences.

In short, "Bullet Train" is a risky bet that is worth seeing and that works, precisely because it is a high-speed journey of epic proportions. Although it may border on the ridiculous, that same ridiculousness will be the greatest delight for the spectators, who will forget what boredom is for 126 minutes.

Bad Bunny, Convincing Film Debut

We still have in our minds the first appearance of Bad Bunny on the screen with "Narcos: Mexico". Although this appearance was for only four episodes, it served as a boost for his promising future in the cinema. And it is that in the blink of an eye, the Puerto Rican made that transition from music to acting, with a fundamental stop at the WWE company where he polished his wrestling skills. Action and adrenaline run through his veins.

For "Bullet Train" I already had part of the way covered. His character, El Lobo, is a Mexican hit man who seeks revenge and for that reason he confronts Catarina. This will give us one of the best action sequences in the movie. From there, surely, he will be supported to face his debut in the Marvel Universe as El Muerto, a mystical fighter who transits between the many adventures of Spider-Man.

To all these, Leitch's convincing performance in the film has earned him more positive than negative reviews. Bad Bunny's character not only meets his share of violence, but also gives the plot a twisted humor due to his charisma, to the point of raising applause once his participation is over. Like it or not, this is just the beginning of your Hollywood train ride.