Bullet Train Down (2022) Review
No, Bullet Train Down is not a crossover of the Gerard Butler franchise and the recent Brad Pitt film. But since it is from The Asylum you can bet it does borrow heavily from other films, in this case taking the train from Bullet Train and placing the bomb from Speed on it. Yes, in just sixteen years they’ve gone from Snakes of a Train to Bombs on a Train, that’s progress.
Jack Banta (Xander Bailey, Titanic 666, Shark Waters) is about to see a dream come true, the inaugural run of his company’s latest breakthrough, the world’s fastest bullet train. Among the others on board is his assistant Lou (Ryan Youngwoong Kim, Malicious Mind Games, House of Brotherly Love), vloggers Claire (Lesley Grant, Descarrilados, Paradise Hills) and Davey (Dylan J. Harris, Allison’s Party, Paranoid) and ex-military bomb disposal expert Kessler Briggs (Rashod Freelove, War of the Worlds: Annihilation, Women of Heart Baptist Church).
If there’s a bomb disposal expert among the characters then there also has to be a bomb, right? And there is, ready to be detonated if Jack doesn’t transfer one hundred million dollars in cryptocurrency to an anonymous saboteur. Or to go off automatically if the train drops below two hundred miles per hour. And at that speed, the train is quickly running out of track.
Director Brian Nowak (Megalodon Rising, Meteor Moon) and writer Alex Heerman (Megaboa, Airliner Sky Battle) split Bullet Train Down’s focus between two groups, up at the front of the train we have Jack, Lou and Holly (Carolina Vargas, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Amango) the train’s engineer. Jack is also in touch with his buddy Scott (Tom Sizemore, Battle for Pandora, Bermuda Island), a big shot at the FBI.
The rest of the cast is in the passenger section, which is cut off from communication with the front. This means that Briggs is going to have to take charge, which he promptly does, tearing a steel door apart with his bare hands to free passengers trapped in a smoke-filled car. And that’s a good thing because everyone else just seems to be sitting there watching them suffocate.
From there Bullet Train Down has Briggs crawling around under the train as well as over the top of it trying to find and disarm the bomb. While he’s doing that the FBI is working on a plan to airlift the passengers off of the train and trying to figure out the bomber’s identity. It’s all fairly standard for this kind of film, about as inventive as it gets is having Briggs use duct tape to keep a grip on the train’s roof.
And if you think that’s a stretch, there are several holes in the script big enough to drive the train itself through. That includes getting access to a computer system they’ve been locked out of by standing closer to its console. And while the villain’s identity may be easy to guess their motive and how they pulled it off borders on laughable.
Being as Bullet Train Down is from The Asylum you know there’s a good chance the CGI will be laughable as well. And it is, the train’s appearance ranges from obviously animated to laughable during scenes where damage is occurring. And even that is better looking than a helicopter crash that would have been mocked twenty years ago.
When it stays inside the train, Bullet Train Down never manages to be more than a predictable and rather plodding thriller. When it goes outside, the CGI and green screen work frequently make it unintentionally humorous. This is definitely one of The Asylum’s less impressive recent efforts.