Brian Tyree Henry and Brad Pitt in 'Bullet Train'
(Sony Pictures)

10 Movies With ‘Bullet Train’-Level Action but Noticeably Fewer Trains

Bullet Train sets a dangerous precedent for train commuting. Look, I’m just trying to get to WORK. I’d rather have my fight sequences take place elsewhere, allowing me to read the Financial Times or whatever smart people read in peace. These movies have all that Bullet Train action but much less impact on your daily commute.

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Kill Bill Vol 1.

Uma Thurman as The Bride in 'Kill Bill'.
(Miramax Films)

There’s so much glorious, stylish violence that happens in Kill Bill, but none of it takes place on trains! Thank you Quentin Tarantino, for showcasing violence on the streets, at weddings, and in the houses of elementary school children—sensible places. This film is about an unnamed Bride (Uma Thurman) whose wedding day is destroyed by misbehaving old friends. Typical. These friends are from a league of assassins that the Bride used to be a part of, and they don’t take too kindly to people leaving the organization. Now the Bride is gonna take katana-swinging revenge on these wedding crashers.

John Wick (the whole franchise TBH)

Keanu Reeves as John Wick in 'John Wick: Chapter 4'
(Lionsgate)

The John Wick franchise has violence happening everywhere! But very few sequences (except for an unfortunate scene in the sequel) on trains, leaving train commuters once again in peace. While you can’t go wrong with the gloriously over-the-top yet somehow tactically grounded violence present in any of the four films, director Chad Stahelski’s first John Wick movie holds a special place in the heart. Like a Bowie knife would! John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a retired assassin who takes up arms again after some asshole Russian mobster’s son kills his beloved dog. Vengeance is swift and brutal.

Blade

Blade as Wesley Snipes in Blade which is the film that made comic book movies cool
(New Line Cinema)

While Blade was critically panned at the time of its release, it was a landmark action flick. All those nightclub violence sequences in John Wick? Blade did it first. The Stephen Norrington-directed vampire killing romp stars Wesley Snipes as the titular sword-wielding protagonist. His mission? Infiltrate vampire hideouts and kill them all. Pretty simple story really. The execution(s) is flawless. Plus, who could forget the human blood coming out of the sprinkles at the club sequence? Berlin could never.

Fallen Angels

A couple rides a motorcycle in a tunnel in "Fallen Angels"
(Kino Lorber)

Compared to high-octane commute-interrupting films like Bullet Train, Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels is a bit of a slow burn. But it’s been a candle burning brightly in the windows of the mansion of cinema history for decades. That was a long metaphor, I apologize.

Fallen Angels is about a nocturnal assassin doing his dirty work on the streets of 1990s Hong Kong. He has a special sort of relationship with the woman who cleans up after his messes. The pair are kinda sorta in love. The plot doesn’t matter. It’s more of a Cowboy Bebop-style mood piece, and just as brilliant.

Mad Max: Fury Road

charlize theron as Furiosa, looking at someone from the driver's seat.
(Warner Bros)

In the distant future, Hollywood gun wielders aren’t able to interrupt the lives of law-abiding, train-commuting professionals. Why? Because in the future, we don’t HAVE trains. The world has been reduced to a barren and lawless desert due to some unmentioned apocalypse, and tribes of car-Viking road warriors are battling for resources.

Enter Mad Max (Tom Hardy), a desert wanderer who is captured by a warlord and has to team up with the badass Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to overthrow a brutal regime. This movie centers commuter violence where it belongs: in cars. It’s road rage the movie, complete with dudes throwing explosive spears at each other from diesel-powered monster trucks in the middle of sandstorms. The American Way.

Hard Boiled

Cops hold guns to a scared man's head in "Hard Boiled"
(Golden Princess Film Production)

High flying Hong Kong cinema! Hard Boiled is about a hard-boiled cop (Chow Yun-fat) who’s going up against the dangerous criminal gang that murdered his partner. Just look at the cover of this movie and tell me you don’t want to watch it. Yes, that is a grizzled cop holding a shotgun in one hand and a baby in the other. Where did he get the baby? It doesn’t matter! Come for the action sequences, stay for the action sequences. And best of all? They pretty much all happen in restaurants! Who HASN’T thrown a fit in one of those?

Nobody

man holding a stack of cash that is on fire
(Universal Pictures)

Bob Odenkirk does more than just play a sleazy lawyer on T.V. He’s versatile. He can also play a family man who gets pushed a little too far. Ilya Naishuller’s Nobody is about a mild-mannered guy whose mild manners get the best of him when two thieves break into his house and screw with his wife and kid. Big No No. Now he’s on a revenge quest to mess those guys up. Best of all, one of the movie’s coolest action sequences takes place on the most chaotic of all transportation methods: the public bus. If you thought trains got crazy, count yourself lucky you’ve never had to ride one of these. There might just be a mild-mannered family man whose manners finally get spicy riding with you.

Birds of Prey

Mary Elizabeth Winstead wields a crossbow as the vigilante Huntress in 'Birds of Prey'
(Warner Bros.)

Harley Quinn is a free woman after breaking up with The Joker! Free to attempt to avoid the massive target a different crime boss placed on her back that is. Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey features Harley (Margot Robbie) and her new morally questionable allies Huntress, Black Canary, and Renee Montoya as they try to foil the machinations of Black Mask, one of the worst crime bosses in Gotham’s Underbelly. And by “worst” I mean “highly effective at his job of doing bad things to people”. Just so nobody gets the wrong idea about anyone’s competency here.

Atomic Blonde

A blonde woman in a cocktail dress smokes a cigarette in "Atomic Blonde"
(Focus Features)

Charlize Theron was made for action flicks, and Atomic Blonde only proves the rule. David Leitch’s spy thriller flick stars Theron as, shockingly, a spy! Specifically, an MI6 agent who has to track down a list of no-good double agents that’s being smuggled into the West. The west of what? The Berlin Wall. The action take place in 1989, on the eve of the Wall’s collapse. If those names fall into the wrong hands, it’s gonna be bad news for Europe. And you know what that means: REALLY bad news for Europe’s trains. Everybody rides them, after all.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Colin Firth and Taron Egerton in 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'
(20th Century Fox)

Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman is jolly good tea-slurping, beans on toast chomping British fun. It’s about a man named after breakfast, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), who is recruited into an organization of top secret English super spies. Their foe? A bajillionaire whose idea to stop climate change is to eliminate most of the human race. His heart is in the right place, but the execution could have used some work. In high-flying comedic fashion, the spies attempt to put the kibosh on the guy, allowing humanity to continue doing human things like riding trains in peace.

(featured image: Sony Pictures)


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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.