Bullet Train UHD Review

4.5 Stars Brutally funny, but not for everyone

Late summer box office hit Bullet Train races its way to 4K UHD Blu-ray courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Bullet Train (2022)
Released: 05 Aug 2022
Rated: R
Runtime: 127 min
Director: David Leitch
Genre: Action, Comedy, Thriller
Cast: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Writer(s): Zak Olkewicz, Kôtarô Isaka
Plot: Five assassins aboard a swiftly-moving bullet train to find out that their missions have something in common.
IMDB rating: 7.4
MetaScore: 49

Disc Information
Studio: Sony
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English Descriptive Audio, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Other
Rating: R
Run Time: 2 Hr. 7 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: 2-disc UHD keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 10/18/2022
MSRP: $45.99

The Production: 4/5

Filling in for an assassin who “called in sick,” Ladybug (Brad Pitt) returns to work after a re-examination of life with his therapist, assigned by his handler Maria (Sandra Bullock) for what is supposed to be a simple snatch and grab of a briefcase aboard a Bullet Train travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto. If the job were easy, this would be a very short movie. It just so happens that there are four other assassins aboard the train, and they are all interconnected in some way with that briefcase.

Bullet Train, directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Hobbs & Shaw), is a fairly simple film from a plot perspective. It is the interconnections of nearly all of the major and even minor characters and their interactions that really carry the film through its two hour running time. Pitt’s Ladybug believes he is the most unluckiest person on the planet, and director Leitch and screenwriter Zak Olkewicz (Fear Street: Part Two – 1978) use that stroke of bad luck to comedic effect, such as a dagger flung at Ladybug ricochets of the briefcase, impaling the one who threw the dagger. Ladybug is the only character in the film who doesn’t really want to kill anyone, but in the end, he has the highest body count. Aaron Tyler-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry play “twin” brothers Tangerine and Lemon (who is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine); Joey King as Prince a sociopathic narcissist bent on revenge; Andrew Koji as Kimura, who is looking to kill the person who shoved his son off a rooftop; and fun cameos by Zazie Beetz, Masi Oka, Karen Fukuhara, and Michael Shannon. Bullet Train is not for everyone (which likely explains the film’s 53% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes), with plenty of over the top violence and dark humor, but I found myself really enjoying the ride.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Bullet Train was captured at 2.6K and 4.5K resolutions on Arri Alexa Mini LF and Alexa SXT cameras (with some footage also shot on 35mm film with the Arricam LT camera), completed as a 4K digital intermediate in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Vision high dynamic range for its premium theatrical engagements. Sony’s 4K UHD features a gorgeous 2160p HEVC-encoded transfer that includes both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range. This is a very colorful film, and the use of Dolby Vision really makes those colors pop. Contrast is also excellent, with deep blacks and strong shadow detail as well as bright highlights. Detail is exquisite, bringing out skin pores, facial hair and stubble, fabric textures. If you are looking for a film to show off that new OLED display you plan on picking up this coming holiday season, Bullet Train is one of the best candidates to use as a demo disc.

Audio: 5/5

To match the outstanding visuals, the default Dolby Atmos track also makes for good demo material. This is a highly active and immersive mix, with sounds coming at you from all directions and with pinpoint accuracy. LFE is strong, adding intensity to the m any explosions, crashes, gun shots, punches, etc. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.

Special Features: 3.5/5

Although all of the video extras are relegated to the included Blu-ray edition of the movie, Sony did manage to squeeze the Filmmaker’s Commentary track onto the UHD disc.

Filmmaker’s Commentary: Director David Leitch is joined by Producer Kelly McCormick and Screenwriter Zak Olkewicz as they talk about developing the movie and shooting during COVID, as well as where some of the funniest lines came from.

Mission Accomplished: Making of Bullet Train (1080p; 6:11): Typical EPK on the making of the film.

All Aboard the Train: Stunts (1080p; 5:13): A look at the many stunt set pieces from the film.

Outtakes & Bloopers (1080p; 3:00): Typical gag reel.

Trained Professionals: The Cast (1080p; 6:53): The cast talk up about working together and how much fun they had on set.

Catch What You Missed: Easter Eggs (1080p; 4:14): A quick rundown of the many homages sprinkled throughout the film.

Select Scene Stunt Previs (1080p; 3:57): Comparison of early concepts of stunts performed by stuntmen and the final scenes from the film.

Bullet Train Goes Off the Rails (1080p; 4:36): Short promo videos with Tangerine, Lemon, and various NBA players.

Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a UHD digital copy on Movies Anywhere.

Overall: 4.5/5

Bullet Train is not for everyone, but this reviewer really enjoyed its often dark humor and action set pieces. As for presentation, this may just be my new demo disc.

Todd Erwin has been a reviewer at Home Theater Forum since 2008. His love of movies began as a young child, first showing Super 8 movies in his backyard during the summer to friends and neighbors at age 10. He also received his first movie camera that year, a hand-crank Wollensak 8mm with three fixed lenses. In 1980, he graduated to "talkies" with his award-winning short The Ape-Man, followed by the cult favorite The Adventures of Terrific Man two years later. Other films include Myth or Fact: The Talbert Terror and Warren's Revenge (which is currently being restored). In addition to movie reviews, Todd has written many articles for Home Theater Forum centering mostly on streaming as well as an occasional hardware review, is the host of his own video podcast Streaming News & Views on YouTube and is a frequent guest on the Home Theater United podcast.

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Jeffrey D

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Thanks for the review, Todd. I pre-ordered from Amazon, and expect to get it soon. Reading the synopsis, I understand why some can draw a straight line between this film, and Smokin’ Aces (a crazy film that I really like)- several factions of people are all after 1 thing.
 

JC Riesenbeck

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For the first twenty minutes or so, when I saw it in the theater, I was thinking: Huh? What? But it's like getting to a party before the guests have arrived and everybody gets into the swing of things. Truly one of my favorite films of the year so far.
 

Robert Crawford

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Yup, enjoyed the movie in a theater. Will hold up buying this 4K disc to see if it's further discounted in the next couple of months.
 

Robert Harris

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Thanks for the review, Todd. I pre-ordered from Amazon, and expect to get it soon. Reading the synopsis, I understand why some can draw a straight line between this film, and Smokin’ Aces (a crazy film that I really like)- several factions of people are all after 1 thing.
Or if one desires to go there, It’s a Mad (x4) World.
 

Jeffrey D

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Watching this now. Beautiful UHD video. The plot seems to be secondary to the insanity and Pitt’s charm amongst the chaos. A good time.
 
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