Bullet Train

1975 [JAPANESE]

Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

7
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 56%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 56% · 100 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.8/10 10 1731 1.7K

Director

Top cast

Ken Takakura as Tetsuo Okita
Takashi Shimura as JNR President
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.36 GB
1280*544
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 32 min
Seeds 8
2.53 GB
1920*816
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 32 min
Seeds 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by matt-mccabebrown 8 / 10

Long, but well worth it

I was doing some sale shopping searching randomly through an online webs-tore, when i came across Bullet Train. I noticed that it starred Sonny Chiba, an actor who Quentin Tarantino has honoured with a great deal of praise. So I bought it. Thankfully, it was the full 152min R2 version from Optimum (I understand the previous edit was fairly poor, judging by other comments I have read). The picture and sound quality were superb. The the original dialogue sounded crisp throughout, and with the full 2:35 anamorphic widescreen print available, the DVD was a very enjoyable watch. Although Sonny Chiba gets top billing here, he has a glorified cameo appearance throughout, only once venturing away from his chair at about the 2hr 10min mark. This film belongs, and rightfully so to Ken Takakura. He plays the bomber Okita, a role which he plays with such precision and empathy that you want him to get away at the end of the movie. This being an action/thriller movie, we all know he won't. In an ending similar to Bullitt, the final chase takes place on/near an airport runway. The final shot of which is, albeit of a violent act, is beautiful in its execution. Some of the model work is a bit on the dodgy side, but it was made in 1975. As all of the characters are well rounded, we get a rare insight into the bombers gang, which I have never seen in the type of film. We find out how Okita first met he assailants in flashbacks when things start to go pear shaped. Better than Speed (which is still an excellent popcorn movie) but for different reasons. Well worth the time and effort to watch. Just make sure your get the original 152min Japanese language version. It makes all the difference.

Reviewed by Coventry 7 / 10

And I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the TRAIN

Now here's a brief little plot description I'm sure will sound familiar to most people! Terrorists plant a bomb somewhere on a crowded public transportation vehicle. The device activates itself once the vehicle reaches a certain speed and will explode if the vehicle lowers its speed beneath this mark. The authorities as well as the driver are aware of the danger, but a ransom needs to be paid before the terrorists gives the exact location of the bomb. Now where have I heard that before? Hey wait a minute, it's that movie "Speed" with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock! Well sure, 99% of the world will be able to guess that, but sadly only a miserable 1% (or even less) know that "Speed" is, in fact, some sort of remake of this modestly produced but hugely exhilarating Japanese 70's disaster flick. Here in this case, the public transportation vehicle is an elite high-speed express train instead of a bus, so there are even more possibilities to hide the explosives. There are two versions of "Bullet Train" available, albeit both of them are quite obscure, but they're a world of difference. The international version is barely 90 minutes long and pretty much cuts all the background and intrigues surrounding the act of terrorism. The Japanese version runs slightly over 150 minutes and is the complete opposite! In this extended version you get to know literally everything about the terrorists, including how they got acquainted and even what they prefer to have for lunch. I'm usually quite allergic to long (2+ hours) movies, but I read that the heavily cut version comes across as incoherent and clumsy, and also that it doesn't feature the social criticism and melodrama. This may very well be true, but the 150 minutes slightly exaggerates with illustrating background stories and dramatic subplots. At numerous times during the film, it even felts like the booby trapped train was merely an unimportant sub plot while the real movie revolved on the life story of main terrorist Tetsuo Okita. Still, it's a compelling and at times adrenalin-rushing adventure with a solid script and terrific performances. Ken Takakura excels as the embittered terrorist and martial arts legend Sonny Chiba is very impressive in the for him very unusual role of ordinary machinist. One thing about "Bullet Train" I will surely NEVER forget for as long as I live is how this movie features the single most worst case of bad luck ever! After he received the ransom, the terrorists reveals that he left a bag in a restaurant. In the bag there's a map with a detailed drawing of where exactly in the train the bomb is located. The authorities rush to the restaurant, but notice upon arrival that the place just burned to the ground due to a short circuit! What are the odds of that happening?

Reviewed by wandering-star 7 / 10

High drama aboard the Bullet Train

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.

Read more IMDb reviews

4 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment