The fastest train in the world –which reaches 600 kilometers per hour and travels through Japan– is home to a group of the best assassins on the planet: it is not a convention, much less a courtesy dinner, Ladybug (Brad Pitt) it is about to be discovered that it is the bait for a plan that involves them all in near-suicidal missions. Traveling from Tokyo to Morioka with few stops along the way, who will survive?
Bullet Train is a story of pure action with humor, that flirts with the style of Tarantino and brings together numerous Hollywood talents under the direction of David Leitch – stuntman, director of Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde, Fast and Furious, Hobbs & Shaw , and producer of sagas like John Wick–.
(Also: Brad Pitt wears a skirt to the premiere of ‘Bullet train’ with Bad Bunny)
“I was drawn to how bold and original it is, and that’s the kind of movie I like to make,” he says. “It has a tone of relentless fun and snappy dialogue. But the most important thing for me was that it had well-defined characters that gave the actors a lot to chew on. It’s a fun action thriller with wacky, bombastic characters, and it’s a meditation on fate. Really”.
Ladybug (who in some Spanish translations will be known as Catarina) is desperate: her bad luck in criminal circles is legendary. With this character Brad Pitt, who in recent times has devoted himself much more to production and whose last big role was in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, returns to action. Some group of his fans dreamed of seeing him at 58 years old handing out fist and paw again on the screen.
“Ladybug begins to think that she is going through a run of bad luck in all aspects of her life, that it has affected her work and she is trying to find a way to reverse it through a peaceful resolution,” says the actor.
In Bullet train nothing points to logic, the fights defy gravity and inertia, and splatter blood and sweat everywhere, the jokes are heavy and the situations are crazy: each assassin must fulfill a mission, so nothing can go wrong, so: how end up fighting and chasing each other?
The assassins are a handful of skilled people with different motivations: Kimura (Andrew Koji) has embarked on the three-hour journey to find those who pushed his son into the void; The Prince (Joey King) is a psychopath whose thoughts don’t fit her young age; Mandarina (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Limón (Brian Tyree Henry) are opposites but inseparable, they have boarded the train to transport the son of a mobster who had been kidnapped; and Ladybug who has only the ‘insignificant’ task – assigned to her by her boss Maria Beetle (Sandra Bullock) – of picking up a briefcase and getting off at the next station. The White Death (Michael Shannon), Hornet (Zazie Beetz), the Wolf (Bad Bunny) and The Ancient One (Hiroyuki Sanada) complete the group of assassins.
“It was so exciting to see the all-star cast bring so much energy and passion to this story. This unique view of Japan is absolutely amazing and so much fun.”
The input of this madness is the novel Bullet Train that Kotaro Isaka published in 2010 as María Beetle and that was translated into English as Bullet Train; the screen adaptation rigorously follows the tone of the book, a fast-paced, witty and dark tale. But in which its protagonists share some humanity.
“Ladybug wants to be a better person. But she also sees herself in the characters played by Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in their brotherhood: they clearly care for each other. Joey King’s character is a sociopath, but she has a dynamic with her father that we can all connect with. You can go on this journey with these relentless killers and still feel sorry for them, have fun, laugh at the jokes,” says Leitch.
Bad Bunny and Momomon
Screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, with a rather discreet career in Hollywood, was commissioned to bring Isaka’s successful book to the screen.
“It was very exciting to see the all-star cast bring so much energy and passion to this story,” says the book’s author. “This unique take on Japan is absolutely amazing and so much fun, it made me so happy to see it, and I know the audience will feel the same way.”
The debut of Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio –the famous Bad Bunny– has more than one of his fans on tenterhooks. After breaking all the records, filling stadiums and establishing himself on the charts as the most important Latin artist of the moment, the Puerto Rican reggaeton singer dresses in a suit and bites a knife to mercilessly punch Brad Pitt in this film, as the Wolf.
Ladybug does not understand the fury of the Wolf, but love and mourning are the engines of anger in the character of the musician, who made his screen debut in the Netflix series Narcos, but who for the first time has a role in a movie. .
“The Wolf was madly in love and lost the love of his life, but Ladybug has no idea what is going on. It’s a good example of how to use fight choreography to define character: ladybug he’s confused, and even in his defensive moves, he’s trying to assess who this guy is and why this is happening, while the Wolf has allowed unbridled anger to overtake him for everything he’s lost,” notes Leitch.
Momomon is another unforgettable character from Bullet Train, the well-known Japanese mascot who has thousands of followers on TikTok and Instagram stars in one of the most hilarious moments of the film: imagine a giant stuffed animal, who fights like Bruce Lee, has the murderous mind of Hannibal Lecter and wrestles over a suitcase with Brad Pitt like a couple of kids fighting over a ball. Who is inside Momomon? That alone is something that the viewer will discover in theaters starting Thursday, August 4.
“You wouldn’t think there would be so many weapons on a speeding train, but we have knives, samurai swords, firearms. And that’s just the beginning,” adds Leitch. “There’s a snake, there’s a bottle of water, there’s a laptop. There is a broom handle and a kitchen knife taped together. There is a cleaning solution. Even Momomon’s costume – which has a wagon full of decorations with his chubby figure – is deadly.”
With material provided by Sony Pictures