The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Cinephiles: ‘Bullet Train’ and ‘Snowpiercer’

Double feature now pulling into the station
Photo by Scott Garfield
A scene from Bullet Train with actors Brian Tyree Henry and Brad Pitt. (Photo from Sony Pictures)

Choooo choooo. The inspiration for many movies is coming into the station! 

From “The Polar Express” to “Murder on the Orient Express,” train movies have always delighted audiences. Recently, two very violent train films have captured my attention. 

Prepare for today’s double feature: “Bullet Train” and “Snowpiercer.” I hope you have your tickets ready. 

“Bullet Train” is my favorite movie, a 2022 masterpiece starring Brad Pitt. My dad, who took me to see it, doesn’t understand the brilliance behind this film. 

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I’ll admit, it can be hard to follow and you may need to make a spreadsheet to follow the film, but it’s just so fun, and I will never stop trying to prove my dad wrong. 

While Pitt plays the main character, Ladybug, other characters such as Tangerine and Lemon, The Prince, The Father, The Elder, The Wolf and The Hornet all play crucial roles in how the story turns out. 

I could try to briefly explain the plot, but it’s really hard to without giving too much away. Essentially, a ton of dangerous people try to kill each other in the goriest ways possible. 

In addition to having an incredibly bright aesthetic and being incredibly energetic and fast-paced, the cast is incredible with a ton of huge celebrities including Bad Bunny sliding into the frame about 17 minutes in. 

Celebrities also play many minor characters to the point where I didn’t even catch some of them until just now. 

As it turns out, the server on the train, who doesn’t do anything besides serve people food and has very few speaking lines, is played by Karen Fukuhara from “The Boys.” 

I’ve seen this actress rip people’s faces off with her bare hands on TV before, and yet she wasn’t cast as any of the hired guns in this film. 

It makes no sense to me but I love this movie even more now that I know she’s in it. What I’m trying to say is that this is a great movie that scratches my ADHD brain in just the right way. More people should really check this out.

“Snowpiercer,” on the other hand, is a complete and total tone shift from “Bullet Train” and it caught me off-guard after watching the two films back to back. 

“Snowpiercer” is another film where it’s hard to say too much without giving the whole plot away but I’ll do my best. 

After the world becomes too cold to be habitable, what’s left of humanity is kept on a train with each car separating a social class.

At the rear of the train, passengers stage a rebellion to take over the front of the train and change the status quo. 

Curtis, played by Chris Evans, is a very different main character from Ladybug. While Ladybug has an extremely optimistic outlook on life and abhor violence, Curtis embraces it as the only way to get what he wants while hating himself for it. 

“Snowpiercer” analyzes class differences and asks the question of whether social classes are essential for a society to function. 

“Snowpiercer” takes itself extremely seriously when compared to “Bullet Train.” The movie is rich with complex story building and it’s hard not to get fully immersed in the story. This film, however, could benefit from some moments of levity and a bit more character-building. 

Any character, outside of Curtis and Namgoong Minsu, doesn’t feel fully fleshed out for the amount of screen time they have. 

For example, one character is revealed to be psychic and it’s why or how this fits into the world building. 

All in all, this film has an incredible ending that cancels out any of its major issues. I would highly recommend heading on over to Netflix station and checking out both films.

Liz Curtin can be reached at [email protected].

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