Entertainment

Bullet Train Movie Review: Brad Pitt’s Comedy Action Thriller Loses Momentum On The Way Home; Also reviewed this week: Thirteen Lives and Prey

(16, 126 minutes)

High speed train

At the age of 58 and 3/4, Brad Pitt has reached a turning point in his career.

His production company Plan B has succeeded in many impressive films over the years, and in recent interviews, Pitt has revealed that being in front of the camera is making him less and less interesting. .

But after the breakup with Angelina Jolie, there are many signs that the actor Brad is regaining his ambition.

Since winning the Oscar for Quentin Tarantino’s bloody revenge fantasy film Once upon a time in HollywoodPitt gave us a hilarious cameo as a dashing adventurer in the Sandra Bullock comedy. The Lost City and a complicated astronaut in James Gray’s Ad Astra.

He excelled in that movie and will soon be playing silent idol John Gilbert in Damien Chazelle’s Babylona locked Oscar nominee.

Meanwhile, we have High speed trainan action horror film based on a Japanese novel and starring Pitt as Ladybug, a kind but unlucky American assassin who, as the film opens, is made with a simple task.

His manager, Maria Beetle (again Bullock), is keen to own a suitcase scheduled to be transported on a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. Its contents were not disclosed and Ladybug wasn’t the only one looking for it.

In an epic, animated opening sequence, we meet Yuichi (Andrew Koji), a heartbroken father whose son is in a critical condition pushed off the roof by a mysterious assailant.

Yuichi’s family has a gang relationship and someone told him that the guy who attacked his son was on a bullet train.

His quest for revenge will involve the suitcase, currently in the possession of two London goons, Tangerine and Lemon (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree-Henry), who have been sent by their owners. their evil benefactor, White Death (Michael Shannon), to retrieve both said suitcase and his false son (Logan Lerman).

Also interested in the luggage item is Prince (Joey King), a young assassin who plays an English schoolgirl who uses her big eyes to convince opponents that she’s not dangerous, but, as Ladybug and many others will eventually realize, she certainly is. .

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High speed train was directed by former stunt coordinator David Leitch, one of the people behind the John Wick movies, so as you’d expect, we have a lot of close-ups.

But the emphasis is heavily on comedy here, and the fights are interspersed with flashy exchanges, especially from Ladybug, a kind of Californian killer who insists on discussing issues. his problems with everyone who tries to kill him.

Zat Olkewicz’s script has some half-baked lines, but is sassy, ​​literally, and not half as funny as it needs to be to make this sparkling adventure.

And it’s all unnecessarily complicated: when a movie starts to introduce multiple characters with frozen-frame lore and potted plots, you know its producers are worried that they I won’t be able to track what’s going on.

We could, but halfway through I more or less lost interest. There are, so to speak, borrowings from the likes of Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino, but I’ve always found the alternation of laughter and masochism disturbing.

The film’s Japanese setting is handled with amazing laziness, and a fast train, some samurai swords, and a few bowing jokes are all we get in terms of detail. culture.

Joey King does a pretty good job as the Psycho Prince and although Brian Tyree Henry’s ‘cockney’ voice is sometimes indescribable, he and Taylor-Johnson put on a winning double as the Tweedledum assassins. and Tweedledee.

Taylor-Johnson is particularly brilliant as the quick-witted and excitable Tangerine, while Pitt tries his best to capture everything with his self-deprecating, intimidating charm.

When he turns 60, he has not lost his special charm and is very humorous as the sly and hippy Ladybug. Pity about the rest of the movie.

Rating: Two stars

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Colin Farrell (left) in Thirteen Lives

Thirteen lives

(Prime Video, PG-13, 155 min)

In the summer of 2018, a Thai men’s soccer team caused an international stir for all the wrong reasons.

The group was visiting the cave system beneath a mountain in Chiang Rai province when an unseasonal rain trapped them nearly 4km from the mouth of the cave. Getting them out is an extraordinary challenge, and Ron Howard’s film underscores the international nature of the rescue effort.

Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell play Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, English cave divers who have managed to locate the boys.

In a great early scene, they walk toward the cave, past groups of engineers and soldiers, don their masks, and make their way toward the missing boys.

But equally important were Thai commandos and groups of farmers who worked to divert floodwaters.

The underground scenes are brilliantly handled, almost unbearably claustrophobic, and Mortensen and Farrell are a vaudeville double actor. “I don’t even like children,” Stanton muttered to Volanthen as they prepared to answer the mission call.

Rating: Four stars

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Amber Midthunder is amazing in Prey

Prey

(Disney Plus, 18.99 minutes)

Dan Tranchtenberg’s sci-fi thriller provides ample evidence that not all sequels are stupid, and Prey is a significant improvement over any of the previous Predator movies.

Its setting is the most obvious thing about it, pitting an aggressive alien against perhaps the only human hunters skillful enough to deal with it. In 1719, on the Great Plains, young Comanche Naru (Amber Midthunder) is fighting to defy tribal convention and prove herself a hunter.

One day, while scouting, she saw a flash of lightning in the sky and a loud noise that caused trouble. For a landed Predator – ugly aliens hunt everything for sport and can make themselves invisible.

Prey keeping its story simple, evoking its era well and teasing the great cat and mouse survival dance, introduces us to an obnoxious band of French trappers who will meet worthy and terrible endings.

Midthunder is great in the lead role and Predator itself can be seen as a metaphor for the hordes of European settlers who will soon overwhelm the American midwest and destroy it.

Rating: Four stars

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/movie-reviews/bullet-train-movie-review-brad-pitts-comedy-action-thriller-loses-momentum-on-the-home-stretch-41890725.html Bullet Train Movie Review: Brad Pitt’s Comedy Action Thriller Loses Momentum On The Way Home; Also reviewed this week: Thirteen Lives and Prey

Fry Electronics Team

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