Written by: Ron Cotton on April 19th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, July 5th, 1975
Director: Junya Sato
Writers: Junya Sato, Ryunosuke Ono
Cast: Sonny Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Eiji Go
DVD Released: April 9th, 2002
Approximate Running Time: 115 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
DVD Release: Crash Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
Synopsis: A bomber holds innocent lives hostage by wiring a public transportation vehicle to blow if it doesn’t continue to barrel at extreme speeds, no matter what obstacles that hinder its path. The bomber demands millions in exchange for information on defusing the explosives. As the endangered civilians fight for their very lives, both the bomber and law enforcement try to swindle each other at every turn in a game of cat and mouse. Chaos reigns for both parties as best lain plans go sour. Even as the dust begins to settle, is it really over yet?
People would most likely recall a summer blockbuster starring Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, and Sandra Bullock in SPEED. However, Bullet Train has already treaded this path. Bullet Train focuses less on the action and instead examines the trials and tribulations between the individuals of each group (Civilians vs. Government vs. Bombers). Strangely, one feels sympathy for the bombers as the selfish civilians receive your disdain.
Sonny Chiba’s role in this movie is cameo at best, much like his appearance in Sister Street Fighter, and was in no way integral to Bullet Train. Not to say that the movie doesn’t carry its weight, just seemingly mismatched in the Kill Chiba Collection also available from crash cinema.
The video is acceptable and is typical Crash Cinema quality. Not in correct ratio and some scratches and dust. The film is dark at points, but much better than other budget company’s choice of overcompensating the contrast.
Overall, the movie is worth your time if you go in thinking that this is not an action tour-de-force, but instead an action/drama.