Brad Pitt in a moment of 'Bullet train'.

‘Bullet train’, when Brad Pitt became a ‘meme’ of himself


David Leitch parodies all the virtues of the actor in a film so dedicated to the hard task of appearing funny and intelligent that it confuses more than it entertains.

Brad Pitt in a moment of ‘Bullet train’.Sony
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It lacks ice and that is precisely what it brings Brad Pitt in ‘Bullet Train‘ as, indeed, the most ‘cool‘ of the summer. This one and probably all those to come. ‘Cool‘, as you know, refers to both what is cold and what attracts, what is liked or, as they used to say in Carabanchel before, what is cool. I fetishize it, sorry. But note that a not-so-subtle difference separates what you like from what, to insist on a term in regrettable disuse, what is cool. The first belongs to the exclusive sphere of the private sphere. Like what you like. And that’s it. The latter, on the other hand, belongs to the shared sphere of the ‘like‘, of the public. It ‘cool‘, to situate ourselves, as what is cool is not so much what you like as what you like that others know you like. Pause. Between one and the other, so as not to get dizzy in so many stupid self-recursive turns, there is the same distance as between a portrait and a ‘selfie‘ (If we want to raise the level of the conversation, the difference is the one between ‘The man with his hand on his chest’ Y ‘Las Meninas’: Velzquez painting that he paints is the one that is cool). In the first, the portrait, a man appears in a forced relaxed position (stiff as a stick) in front of Burgos Cathedral; in the second, the ‘selfie’, you see that same smiling man with a lopsided cap, his arm cut off by the frame that hides the hand holding the ‘smartphone’ and, behind, the cliff from which he is about to fall . What matters is not so much the portrait itself as the portrait at the moment of being portrayed. The former is an anonymous moment of life, the latter an instant of existence. The first is what it is, the second is what it is when it is. I mean, cool, it’cool‘. And so. ace of ace

‘Bullet Train‘, to situate ourselves, it is, in effect, a film ‘cool‘ directed by one of the directors more forcefully ‘cool‘ of the film scene (the ‘cool‘ and the other) and starring -and here there are no doubts- the coolest animal on the planet. The first is called David Leitch and to his credit are exercises of tightrope walking worthy of the Carabanchel of old like ‘John Wick’, ‘Atmica’, Deadpool’ or the penultimate installment of ‘Fast & Furious’ (and this is pure Carabanchel). All of them are films to be watched without looking at the screen at all. The game of cross-references, inside jokes and audience winks are there to make you leave the theater convinced that you are even smarter than your mother thinks (which you already are). The truth is that when he gets it right he is unrivaled in his well-studied role as an educated pimp. The problem is when she brakes too much. That’s when she falls off the cliff in the paragraph above.

And then there is Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt is not an actor. It seems so, he behaves like one and earns more money than anyone thanks to his interpretations, but, in reality and a bit like all stars, he is truly an actor who acts like no one else in his eternal role of Brad Pitt . Pitt’s profession is being Pitt. Understand, it is not that he is typecast, but simply that he does what he does, what he does really is Brad Pitt. He is a ‘selfie‘ eternal of himself. Take for example Robert de Niro. He is just the opposite. In every role he plays he disappears to become just the character he gets paid for. Other actors (the greatest of all comes to mind: Marlon Brando), on the other hand, whatever they do, they are always themselves. Colonel Kurtz is actually Marlon. With Pitt the same thing happens and, to be clear, that is not bad. His 58 perfect years and perfectly preserved in formalin have made him the most recognizable actor of all. Infinitely’cool‘.

It is true that this gives rise to misunderstandings. For a long time he was looked down upon despite his works as the hysterical Mills (‘Seven‘), the hysterical Jeffrey Goines (’12 monkeys‘) or the hysterical Tyler Durden (‘Fight club‘) raised the respective productions to the level of paroxysm. Paroxysm never sufficiently recognized, but paroxysm at last. Then, and probably from Rusty Ryan (‘Ocean’s Eleven‘), Pitt began to feel good in the eternal role of Pitt. His role as Achilles in ‘Troy‘ or his definitive performances in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, ‘The Tree of Life’, ‘Moneyball’, ‘Kill Them Softly’, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ or, and above all, ‘Ad Astra’ they did the rest. Pitt taking off his shirt while repairing the antenna in Tarantino’s latest seems to be the best definition of an actor who shouts his name to the audience from the screen. Spelled.

At this point, someone must have thought it was a good idea to join ‘cool‘ with ‘cool‘. Cool with cool. Carabanchel with Viso. Leitch with Pitt. What can go wrong? The problem is, to go back to ice and ‘cool’, a question of chemistry. As you know, when water freezes it increases its volume, it expands. Hence, the rush to cool the beer (which has some water) always ends in drama. In ‘Bullet Train‘ Something similar happens. And it literally explodes. Too many jokes, too fast… but, above all and worst, too many too fully aware of being ‘too much‘ (this was also used in Carabanchel).

It tells the story of five hitmen all inside a bullet train traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto. Each one goes to his own until they discover that they all go to the same thing: kill each other. But not a little, Gila would say, but a lot. The film sails from front to back and backwards, from past to future; in slow motion and super fast motion. The ones that seem good are bad, the ones that could be funny are really pathetic and the sad ones give a lot to think about rather than being sad. Leitch handles Pitt as a tool to show us how good Pitt looks in his photos (not Pitt’s, mind you, but Leitch’s). And Pitt manages Leitch to make it clear that there is no one like Pitt to play Pitt. Neither portrait nor ‘selfie‘, pure ‘meme’ exaggerated ‘cool‘. No more cubes, Pitt remains.


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