One of the Japanese Shinkansen "Bullet Trains" is threatened with a bomb that will explode automatically if the train slows below 80 km/h, unless a ransom is paid. Police race to find the bombers and to learn how to defuse the bomb. Written by
I picked up a six-pack of Sonny Chiba movies and this was one of them. Lucky for me it was the uncut, original Japanese language version!! The Bullet Train is a bit of a more complex drama than the much later "Speed" which was pretty much a straight action movie. There are key differences between the two. "Speed" uses an over-the-top villain type in Dennis Hopper, a man completely evil who we're not expected to sympathize or feel sorry for. "Bullet Train"'s villain is a more complex, serious, darker sort of character, and we come to understand and even sympathize a little with his reasons for ransoming the Bullet Train.
I found it a little long at 2 1/2 hours. But I liked that it was a more serious film than Speed, delving into the ransomer's motives and the consequences of his actions, not just for his victims but for his accomplices, the train company employees, and himself. And 1.5 hours in, I realized I had no idea how it was going to end.
If you enjoy Japanese or Asian cinema in general, this isn't one of the best films, but you will probably enjoy it as I did.
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