It’s easy to see why “Bullet Train” topped the box office in its first weekend, grossing $30 million.
First off, it had the star power of Brad Pitt. Secondly, the trailers did justice to a movie with a great mix of comedy and action.
Mr. Pitt plays Ladybug — that’s his code name — who’s hired on what should be a simple job of stealing a mysterious briefcase full of something valuable, maybe a ton of money, on a Japanese bullet train. It should be easy. Problem is, Ladybug isn’t the only one who wants this briefcase, and the plot expands to include mysterious villains, assassins, murders and, strangely enough, references to Thomas the Tank Engine, the children’s books franchise.
“Bullet Train” has a complicated set of characters, but the movie takes time to give you background on them. Most of all, “Bullet Train” is funny, if you don’t mind some blood and gore.
Mr. Pitt does his usual great job, this time playing a thief who doesn’t want to hurt anyone but ends up in the middle of all the action. It’s the kind of character Mr. Pitt has played previously, and he’s a master at it.
The rest of the talented cast includes Joey King, who is compelling as a young woman named Prince (not Princess), who’s pulling everyone’s strings and is a villain you will love to hate.
Many of the funniest moments are between Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Lemon (the very talented Brian Tyree Henry), who are hired to deliver a briefcase, the one Ladybug tries to steal from them.
Director David Leitch succeeds in tying together the many characters, which includes someone dressed up like an anime character. Watch everyone and everything carefully. Everything matters in this movie.
The success of “Bullet Train” led “DC League of Super-Pets” to fall to second place at $11 million.
Placing third at the box office was Jordan Peele’s sci-fi/horror thriller “Nope,” with a $8.5 million gross in its third weekend.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” placed fourth with $7.71 million.
“Minions: The Rise of Gru” was the No. 5 movie with $7.11 million.
“Top Gun: Maverick” placed sixth with $7 million.
Placing seventh was the murder mystery based on a bestseller, “Where the Crawdads Sing.” It grossed $5.68 million.
“Easter Sunday,” a comedy about a dysfunctional Filipino-American family trying to celebrate the holiday, opened in eighth place with $5.45 million.
“Elvis” placed ninth with $3.94 million.
The horror thriller “The Black Phone” placed 10th with $1.51 million.