Before there was Keanu Reeves lopping the head off of Dennis Hopper, there was this, the original “keep the public transportation conveyance going above XX miles an hour or something’s blowing up real good” movie. Bullet Train raced through Japanese theaters in 1975 and forever allowed the people at Amtrak to point in its direction and say “Hey, it could be worse!”
Ken Takakura pays the madman who plants a bomb on one of Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train expresses. If the train drops below 80 kph, it’s KABLOOIE for the train and the hundreds of passengers. Fighting against his malevolent devices is a bad-ass train engineer played by legendary Sonny Chiba.
That’s your movie–the train rockets forward and a bunch of people scream their heads off and back at home base, the nerds scramble to save lives and the cops spring their manhunt to find the bad guy.
All in all, Bullet Train is an okay 70s-era disaster, but a pair of sizable demerits drop the rating:
- It’s too long. This bad boy runs a whopping 152 minutes, which is just too hefty for a simple thriller/actioner like this.
- The nature of a train, limited by the tracks, kind of short circuits the number of cool, death-defying scenarios that can happen, versus, say, a bus.
See, at the end of the day that’s what the upshot of Bullet Train is for me–it made we want to watch Speed immediately. And that’s just what I did when this movie ended. Thank you Bullet Train!
The Twilight disc (that you probably won’t find in stores): 1080p, 2.35:1, a 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio (Japanese), an isolated music and effects track (for some reason, and a featurette.