Review Date: | We discussed: listen here
Synopsis: Unlucky assassin Ladybug is determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs gone off the rails. Fate, however, may have other plans, as Ladybug's latest mission puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries from around the globe—all with connected, yet conflicting, objectives—on the world's fastest train.
When I saw the initial trailer that is at the end of this review, I was so onboard and excited for this film. And now less then 24 hours after seeing this film I can say, this is not a good film. It is an amazingly stylish, neon colored string of scenes that loosely holds together in a single story. That being said there are really good vignettes in this film, I would love to pitch the idea of a prequel movie of Lemon & Tangerine or take the 8-10 minutes of the Wolf’s origin and suss it out to a full film. I know we can’t evaluate things based on what it could have been, but can we maybe could have had a prestige streaming series with more Japanese representation and let this extremely compressed story of scenes could have more time to breath and flesh out the overarching storyline.
There are shining beacon performances in this movie that need to be called out, let’s start with the twins, Lemon and Tangerine. Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Tangerine is electric and I would say steals every scene he is in but there is his brother, Lemon Brian Tyree Henry and seriously injects heart into this shiny, plastic world with tons of references to Thomas the Train Engine. In the recording of this week’s podcast both Jon & I shouted out the performance of Bad Bunny with very little dialogue he really shines and holds his own against Brad Pitt, he’s charming and charismatic. Zazie Beetz was a nice surprise as she always brings an energy and vitality to any film she’s a part of and in less then 7 minutes of screen time she really injects (see what I did there) this film with a much needed shot (again…) of excitement and fun. Someone that I hadn’t had any experience with previously was Joey King as Prince, I can’t wait to catch more of her, and have added The Princess to my Watchlist on Letterboxd on Jon’s recommendation.
I wish that Hiroyuki Sanada had more time as the role of The Elder, when he is on screen he adds some much needed weight, reality and gravitas. Logan Lerman is really believable as The Son, the despondent and broken father of a son that was pushed off a building to kick off this film. There are two actors that I wish were given more to do in this film, Masi Oka as Conductor is fun and playful with his limited scenes, and Karen Fukuhara as Kayda Izumi Concession Girl has so little to do that I was left scratching my head why you would cast such a great, expressive actress to fill such a tiny and inconsequential role.