Brad Pitt’s high-action comedy “Bullet Train” is receiving a mixed bag of reviews.
The film premiered in Los Angeles on Monday night at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood and the stars were out in full force.
For some, the David Leitch-directed movie, which also features Sandra Bullock, Joey King, Bad Bunny, Zazie Beetz, Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor Johnson, doesn’t deliver what many expected.
Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt gave the movie a B+.
“At 126 minutes, “Bullet Train” is maybe 20 minutes too long,” she explained. “The movie seems to be having too much fun to reach its final station on time, and too many winky drop-ins from A-list action heroes to wedge in.”
“The geographical logic of ‘Bullet Train’ doesn’t make much sense, but then, the movie looks as if it was produced without the principals so much as stepping foot in Japan,” explained Variety’s Peter Debruge. “And why not? It’s essentially a live-action cartoon, with high-profile cameos sprinkled in for added laughs.”
The Hollywood Reporter cut to the chase and called it a “thrill-free thrill ride.”
“For a movie with so much volatile physicality and bruising punishment, there’s an inertia about the whole thing, a soullessness that makes every contrived smirk grate,” explained THR’s David Rooney. “We don’t care about who gets pounded to a pulp or shot to pieces because there are no characters to root for — good guys or bad.”
While the film hasn’t impressed critics, Pitt’s performance is an outlier.
“‘Bullet Train’ is not a good film, but Pitt is having a truly palpable amount of fun in it,” explained David Ehrlich of IndieWire. “And the energy that radiates off of him as he fights Bad Bunny over an explosive briefcase or styles his hair with the blow dryer function of a Japanese toilet is somehow magnetic enough to convince us that we’re having fun, too.”
“This film is not just bloated, tedious, dim-witted, and glib, it’s also redundant,” said AV Club’s Todd Gilchrist. “Ultimately, ‘Bullet Train’ aims to be slick when it needs to be smart, and predictable when it should be provocative—effectively making all of the wrong stops at exactly the wrong time.”
“Bullet Train” hits theaters Aug. 5.