Bullet Train Movie Review

A thrilling masterpiece, Bullet Train is a must-watch. The movie has insane action sequences that come blended with hilarious scenes.

Bullet Train Movie Review
Bullet Train is a must-watch thriller. Source: Columbia Pictures.

Bullet Train is a 2022 Action/Thriller/Comedy movie that is plain hilarious and has a very intricate storyline. Bullet Train is about a team of assassins who find themselves in a bind with unknowing common goals. The assassins are all aboard the bullet train and things start unfolding with bullets flying and people dying.

Bullet Train Movie Review and Summary

This post is both a movie review and a summary of Bullet Train. That is to say, it may contain spoilers.


Ladybug, played by Brad Pitt, is an assassin who's just getting back to work after a breather. In his mind, he's going into the bullet train for a simple "snatch and grab", but is dumbfounded by what he finds. Ladybug is sent by his handler with a seemingly simple task: retrieve a briefcase whose contents he doesn't know.

The Twins

Aboard the train are also the twins, Tangerine, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Lemon, played by Brian Tyree Henry. The twins are mercenaries who are ruthless in what they do. They are also aboard the bullet train and are tasked with two jobs: secure 'The White Death's' son and also his briefcase.

Lemon and Tangerine in Bullet Train
Lemon and Tangerine in Bullet Train. Source: Columbia Pictures.

Yuichi Kimura

Yuichi Kimura's son falls from the roof of a department store. He is bedridden in a hospital in critical condition and his father Yuichi and grandfather, The Elder, suspect that he had been pushed off the roof. Yuichi and The Elder are members of the Yakuza.

The White Death

The Elder was a ranking member of the Minegishi crime syndicate which was butchered by The White Death, an alleged Russian mafia outcast who quickly rose through the ranks to become one of Minegishi's most trusted advisors. The other close associates of Minegishi were wary of him, however, and it turned out their concerns were valid. The White Death, played by Michael Shannon, betrayed Minegishi and slaughtered him and most of his syndicate.

The White Death's Son

The White Death's son, played by Logan Lerman, who is in the hands of the twins on board the bullet train, is poisoned and dies. The twins are distraught; they have heard stories of  The White Death chopping off peoples' hands. They try to make it look as if he's not dead and take solace in still having The White Death's briefcase, the second part of their job.

The White Death's son with his eyes bleeding after he is poisoned by The Hornet
The White Death's son after he is poisoned by The Hornet. Source: Columbia Pictures.

Ladybug's Sticky Hands

Ladybug finds the briefcase and steals it. He plans to leave the bullet train at the next stop but things do not go as he expected. His handler had told him to take a gun with him but he declined, choosing "peace". Ladybug, during his break, was seeing a therapist whose teachings of peacefulness he was trying to follow. He, however, feels very unlucky and has to make due with whatever he can use as a weapon. Turns out the job was much more complicated than he'd expected or was led to believe.

The Wolf

As Ladybug tries to depart the train, he comes across a Mexicano who's quick to try and stab him. The Wolf, played by musician Bad Bunny, recognizes Ladybug from when his wife was killed during their wedding. The Wolf was a soldier of a Mexican drug lord whose wife and boss were killed during his wedding. The lot were poisoned and the Wolf was determined to avenge their death. He struggles with Ladybug but Ladybug manages to put him down. He then positions him as if he's sleeping.

Bad Bunny playing The Wolf in Bullet Train with a knife in his hand
Bad Bunny playing The Wolf in Bullet Train. Source: Columbia Pictures.

The Prince

The Prince, played by Joey King, is a young woman who attacks Yuichi and blackmails him saying that she has someone watching his son at the hospital, who she could potentially send to kill the boy. Yuichi discovers that she's the one who fell his son from the roof but cannot avenge the incident since he is blackmailed. The Prince is out for The White Death's blood and instructs Yuichi to go kill him. She fits a mini bomb on his gun and another in The White Death's briefcase that Ladybug and the twins are trying to retrieve.

The Hornet

The Hornet is an assassin who kills their victims using poison. The Hornet is lethal and uses the venom of a boom snake. The venom makes the victim's blood coagulate in a matter of seconds, making them bleed out of their orifices. The Hornet is the killer who took out the entire wedding party at The Wolf's wedding and it later turns out that they are also the one who killed The White Death's son. Ladybug discovers that The Hornet is on board and discovers their identity when he takes out the 'assassination target envelope' from The Wolf's pocket.

It's a She

As it turns out, The Hornet is a girl. They clash with Ladybug and she stabs him with a needle containing her signature poisonous venom. Ladybug is clever, though, and stabs her too and when she takes out the antidote, quickly administers it to himself. The Hornet, played by Zazie Beetz, goes down in the catastrophic poetic justice of dying by her own way of killing. As Ladybug puts it "Karma is a b*tch".

The Diesel

Lemon is an ardent fan of Thomas The Tank Engine. He says that he thinks there is a 'Diesel' on the train who's orchestrating all the killings going on. They meet and clash with Ladybug but he says that something tells him that Ladybug is not the Diesel and that he didn't kill The White Death's son. Lemon later comes across The Prince and is certain that she is the Diesel, despite her attempts to play a helpless little girl.

Lemon's Deep Sleep

Lemon, however, falls into a deep slumber before he can shoot The Prince. He'd drank water that Ladybug had spiked with a sleep portion. Ladybug has a 'sleep powder' he uses and he puts the entire vile into the bottled water that Lemon later drinks.

The White Death Comes Calling

While all this is going on, The White Death's cronies demand verification that both The White Death's son and his briefcase are in the possession of the twins. The twins do their best to make the son look like he's still alive. On the second check-in though, where The White Death's men demand that both the twins come out, Tangerine is joined by Ladybug who mistakenly opens the fake briefcase they were pretending to be The White Death's. The White Death's men are now after them and White Death himself says that he will be waiting for them at their last stop in Kyoto.

The Last Stop: Kyoto

When the bullet train gets to Kyoto, the remaining assassins find The White Death and his men waiting for them there. The White Death has the first encounter with The Prince who turns out to be his daughter. She is bitter that he always chose his "sh*thead" son over her. She gives him Yuichi's gun with the bomb inside and dares him to fire it and shoot her, but he neglects to use it.

The Bullet Train in a station
The Bullet Train in a station. Source: Columbia Pictures.


Yuichi's father The Elder had been wise and had sent someone to watch over his grandson Wataru. The boy had still not woken up in the hospital and the man The Prince had told to kill the boy (if he doesn't hear from her) is taken down by one of The Elder's associates.


The Elder, played by Hiroyuki Sanada, himself joins the bullet train, looking for his son and also aching for a chance to avenge his former boss Minegishi. By this time, Lemon's brother Tangerine had been taken out by Ladybug. Tangerine had found Lemon in the bathroom seemingly dead, not realizing that he was just deep asleep, and gone out to avenge him. He, however, met his death, only for Lemon to wake up later and discover that it was Tangerine who was now dead.

The White Death vs The Elder

The Elder finally gets a chance to face off with The White Death. He is apt with his sword and had survived White Death's attack on Minegishi's syndicate. The White Death had, however, also gone after his family and killed his wife, with his son Yuishi luckily surviving after he hid in a cabinet. The two get fighting and The White Death is also very good with his sword and they both seem to be a match for one another.

The White Death from The Bullet Train
The White Death is a ruthless syndicate boss who rules with an iron fist. Source: Columbia Pictures.

A Driverless Bullet Train

Lemon gets the bullet train fired up again. The Elder had joined the train at its last stop before Kyoto and had gotten Ladybug, his son Yuichi (who was previously thought dead but turned out to be alive), and Lemon working together. The 3 were to face The White Death and his men. Lemon tries to steer the train but is lost. He enlists Ladybug who also doesn't know how to steer the thing and can't stop it. The two had been trying to steer the train while fighting The White Death's henchmen.

Off the Rails

Before long and as The Elder and The White Death fight one another, with The Elder now seemingly winning, the bullet train goes off the rails. Ladybug is thrown over like a rock and is saved by landing on a mascot. The train crashes and everyone luckily survives. The White Death resurfaces and has a gun to Ladybug's head.


The White Death thinks Ladybug is Carver, another assassin who Ladybug was filling in for, and wants to shoot him. The White Death's wife had been killed in a seeming road accident that turned out to be an assassination. Carver, played by Ryan Reynolds, was the assassin behind the murder.

The Real Reason Why the Assassins Were All Aboard the Bullet Train

As it turns out, The White Death had made several contracts contracting all these assassins to come aboard the bullet train. He'd intended for them to kill each other and had even sent The Hornet to kill his son. The White Death blamed his son for his wife's death. The White Death was away at the time of her assassination, dealing with the slaughtering of his men in Bolivia. Turns out the twins had been the ones doing the slaughtering, and his wife was killed while she was going to bail out his son. He'd warned her not to go but she insisted.

An Explosive Backfire

The White Death, on pulling the trigger, has his brains blown out. He was using the gun The Prince had put a bomb in, and it backfired as intended, exploding in his face. The White Death is no more and Yuishi, Ladybug, and The Elder all breathe a sigh of relief.

Wait a Minute...

Not so fast though, as The Prince emerges with a gun in her hand. She intends to shoot the trio but is run over by a truck carrying tangerines. Turns out that Lemon, who'd jumped off the train into a river, was behind the wheel. He was making good on his intent to take the Diesel down.


Ladybug's handler Maria Beetle, played by Sandra Bullock, comes to his rescue. He's touched by the gesture and her concern for him. She comes in a sleek ride but as they are about to get in, an electric pole crashes it. Ladybug realizes that maybe it is not about bad luck or good luck, and maybe it is about fate. He says that fate did not want them to get into the car as they'd have been crushed.

Ladybug and his handler Maria Beetle
Ladybug and his handler Maria Beetle. Source: Columbia Pictures.

Our Rating

A thrilling masterpiece, Bullet Train is a must-watch. The movie has insane action sequences that come blended with hilarious scenes. It is very refreshing and is set in beautiful Japan. Bullet Train also has a very solid storyline that is delivered beautifully, with the story unfolding little by little till the very end. We absolutely loved the movie and give it an 8.5/10 for the wonderful action, humor, and thrill. Rush and go watch it and do enjoy!


Who Directed Bullet Train?

Bullet Train was directed by David Leitch. The movie had, however, been originally developed by Antoine Fuqua. Leitch was also previously Brad Pitt's stuntman and stunt double in the 1999 movie Fight Club.

Was Bullet Train Meant to Be a Serious Movie?

Yes. In its original development, Bullet Train was meant to be a serious action/thriller movie but it took a life of its own and turned into the lighthearted action-thriller-comedy that it is.

Who are the Cameos in Bullet Train?

The two cameos in Bullet Train are Ryan Reynolds, who plays the assassin Carver, and Channing Tatum, who plays a passenger on the bullet train who Ladybug uses as a decoy. Sandra Bullock also shows up in Bullet Train and plays Ladybug's handler Maria Beetle.

Is Bullet Train Based on a Book?

Yes. Bullet Train is based on a book bearing the same name by Japanese author Kotaro Isaka.

The cover of the Bullet Train Novel by Kotaro Isaka
The Bullet Train Novel by Kotaro Isaka. Source: Amazon.

You can get the book on Amazon using the link below.

We may earn a commission if you purchase the book with our link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.