Bullet Train

Ladybug (Brad Pitt) is an assassin who has been unlucky in his latest missions. Now he finds himself on a train going from Tokyo to Kyoto where all he wants to do is his job. What he doesn’t bargain for is the many other assassins that are traveling along with him, all for their own purposes. What started off as something seemingly easy turns out to be the complete opposite.

One of the summer’s hottest blockbusters, Bullet Train is an action adventure romp that doesn’t let up for one moment. It starts off with a bang and keeps going until the credits roll. The fight sequences, in particular, were entertaining and exciting. Sometimes it was as if they came from a comic book and while the gore was pretty graphic, it was executed in a way that made it funny.

Brad Pitt is one of the best actors of our generation and he knocked it out of the park as Ladybug. He carried the movie on his back and had great interactions with his fellow costars. Other standouts for me include Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). They captured every scene they were in and made me laugh constantly. I wish we’d had more of them because they were just that good. And while we didn’t see much of her, I loved Sandra Bullock’s role as Maria, Ladybug’s handler.

The movie may have boasted even more well known names such as Joey King, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Bad Bunny, Logan Lerman and Zazie Beetz but they weren’t featured nearly as much as I would have liked. I guess that is one of the downsides of having such a large cast of characters. There were a couple here that we didn’t learn anything about which was a pity.

With bright neon lights and a killer soundtrack complete with Japanese covers of Stayin’ Alive and Holding Out For A Hero, Bullet Train sucked me into a thrilling adventure. There were a couple of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat and while it was totally bonkers at times, I was able to let go and get lost in it.

Rating: ♥♥♥

The Bad Guys

Have you ever felt misunderstood because of the perceptions people have of you? That is the case for Wolf (Sam Rockwell), Snake (Marc Maron), Tarantula (Awkwafina), Shark (Craig Robinson) and Piranha (Anthony Ramos). Infamous criminals, when they are finally caught after a heist gone wrong, they are given a lifeline: become model citizens to avoid a prison sentence. With the help of a guinea pig named Mr. Marmalade (Richard Ayoade), our villains will do whatever they can to fool the world that they have changed.

My expectations going into The Bad Guys were low. Nothing about the trailer stood out to me except for the voice talents. But with Dreamworks being behind the likes of Shrek and Shark Tales, I figured I would give it a chance.

Though the story was nothing groundbreaking, it is still worth a watch. The colorful cast of characters were fun to get to know. You want them to succeed, whether in their crimes or for them to redeem themselves. I do wish some of the backstories were expanded more, though overall they had a solid friendship base which I liked.

A lot of the jokes were smart and witty. One that stands out to me the most was when Mr. Wolf was dressed in a sheep onesie. It gave the saying ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ a whole new meaning. I also thought it was smart to have another stereotyped animal in Diane Foxington (Zazie Beetz) playing a protagonist opposite the others.

With every good story, there is a moral. And what I liked most about The Bad Guys was that it sheds importance on not judging a book by it’s cover. Just because we don’t know what is going on with somebody doesn’t mean we should jump to conclusions about them. Not everything is what you see is what you get and that was refreshing.

Rating: ♥♥♥