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Front Row at the Roxy: Bullet Train

From the director behind Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde, Bullet Train is playing at the Roxy Theatre
Bullet Train plays at the Roxy Theatre until Thursday. (Zachary Delaney)

Hey Revelstoke, I’m Zachary Delaney, the Review’s newest reporter. My favourite past-time is watching movies and the Roxy Theatre plays a new movie every week. So, my plan is to review the movies as they come to town.

In a time when it’s rare to watch an action movie that isn’t connected to a franchise, Bullet Train is a breath of fresh air that entertains with comedy, action, and some fantastic outfits.

The film is directed by David Leitch, who’s responsible for some of the most popular action movies in the last ten years that aren’t Marvel. Leitch directed Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and helped produce the John Wick franchise. Leitch’s latest, Bullet Train, combines elements of his greatest hits.

I enjoy superhero movies as much as the next person. They’re usually fun, have solid action, and are generally entertaining. Lately though, it’s tough for me to think of an action movie that’s come out recently that wasn’t a superhero movie or part of a franchise.

Bullet Train was good fun.

Several assassins board a bullet train in Japan. Over time, their respective missions overlap resulting in expanding mayhem as the train makes it’s way across the country.

If you’ve seen other titles from Leitch, then you can expect a similar style in Bullet Train. The movie is violent, funny, and has low-level twists that will keep your attention.

The action scenes in the movie are a combination of fast-paced Guy Ritchie-esque fights with a touch of Quentin Tarantino gore. Every punch, kick, or whack is syncopated with a percussive bang that keeps the action scenes moving along like a marching band. The overall effect is mostly slick fight scenes, with a bit of uncoordinated grittiness. The blood doesn’t splatter on the screen every 20 minutes, but the audience is still treated to some grim images of dead assassins.

Bullet Train’s cast is filled with some massive names, including Brad Pitt, Joey King, Bryan Tyree Henry, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Andrew Koji, and Hiroyuki Sanada. These actors balance the screen time, but there are several other big actors that crop-up along Bullet Train’s speedy story that the audience should be aware of, and keep an eye out for.

One of the strongest features of the movie is how the characters are dressed. There’s a mixture of eye-catching pink, dull blues, and crisp white shirts splattered with blood. Often in movies, characters are dressed to mimic their values—like a bad guy wearing tattered dark clothes versus a hero wearing pristine bright clothes. Bullet Train plays with the audience by having its characters in all kinds of different outfits. The effect is a screen frequently splashed with various shades and hues that make for a fun visual experience.

If you read a critical review of this movie and decided not to go see it, I think you made a mistake. Reviews can help set expectations, but it’s always good to make your own assessment. The critical reviews of Bullet Train mightn’t be stellar, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie. Will it be taught in film school? Not likely, but that’s ok. Head to the Roxy Theatre and check out this movie or their next one and just enjoy the show. Their showtimes and upcoming movies are listed on their website.

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Zach Delaney

About the Author: Zach Delaney

I came to the Revelstoke Review from Ottawa, Ontario, where I earned a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University.
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