Reluctant hitman Ladybug (Brad Pitt in a goofy mood) has forsworn violence and is working on his equanimity with various mindfulness techniques so his handler (Sandra Bullock) sets him up with what should be a very simple—and crucially, nonviolent—job: snatch a briefcase being carried on a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto.
Seems simple enough, but this is an action movie and so “simple and non-violent” was never really on the cards. A lot of other people want that briefcase, or want to kill each other, or even our man Ladybug, who is trying really hard to be the change he wants to see in the world. There’s bickering British twins Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry, the clear MVP), vengeful Mexican pistolero The Wolf (Bad Bunny), father and son swordsmen The Elder (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Kimura (Andrew Joji), ruthless schoolgirl Prince (freshly minted action legend Joey King of, funnily enough, The Princess), and more.
Why? It’s extremely complicated—overly so, in fact—but it all more or less comes down to a civil war within the yakuza clan led by White Death (Michael Shannon, whose performance will now join Robert Downey Jr’s in Tropic Thunder in “is this racist?” conversations).