Late summer box office hit Bullet Train races its way to 4K UHD Blu-ray courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Other New Releases You May Like
Some of our content may contain marketing links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. In our editorial content, these affiliate links appear automatically, and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. We work with several providers (currently Skimlinks and Amazon) to manage our affiliate relationships. You can find out more about their services by visiting their sites.