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Bullet Train ending explained: Who survives Brad Pitt action movie?

The new flick sees five assassins come to blows as they each carry out seemingly separate missions. **Contains spoilers**

Brad Pitt in Bullet Train
Sony Pictures / Scott Garfield
Published: Wednesday, 3rd August 2022 at 2:00 pm
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It's probably fair to describe the plot of Bullet Train – the new Brad Pitt-starring film from John Wick co-director David Leitch – as a little complex.

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The action flick follows five assassins on board the titular Tokyo locomotive as they each attempt to carry out seemingly separate missions, only for it to soon become clear that each of their goals are very much connected.

A number of flashbacks spread out amongst the fast-paced action fill us in on various backstories, and the emergence of a big bad later down the track nicely fits everything together.

But given how fast the train moves – and just how many characters zip in and out of the action – you'd be forgiven for being a little muddled by the time it reaches its destination.

With that in mind, read on to have the Bullet Train ending explained – be warned: spoilers follow.

Bullet Train ending explained

In order to grasp the events at the film's climax, it's necessary to first outline the various figures involved – especially the five assassins on board the train.

Those assassins include Prince (Joey King), an English-accented young woman posing as a schoolgirl, and Yuichi (Andrew Koji) the Japanese man she is holding hostage and blackmailing after she pushed his son off a rooftop. Yuichi, we learn, is part of a crime syndicate headed up by the elusive crime lord named the White Death (Michael Shannon), whom Prince is hoping to take down.

Also on the train are Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor Johnson), two code-named cockneys who have been tasked with escorting the White Death's son to him along with a briefcase containing substantial amounts of cash.

And finally in the Bullet Train cast, there is Ladybug (Brad Pitt), a down-on-his-luck agent completing his first job back after a brief hiatus, whose comparatively straightforward task is to nab the aforementioned briefcase and get off the train as quickly as possible.

Only it isn't quite so easy – although Pitt initially gets his hands on the briefcase easily enough, his every attempt to disembark from the locomotive is curtailed by a range of unexpected obstacles, as the various assassins begin to collide and do battle.

Benito A Martínez Ocasio as The Wolf
Benito Martínez Ocasio as The Wolf Sony

In the process, we are also introduced to a couple of other assassins who get caught up in the carnage but are quickly dispatched, including The Wolf (played by Benito Martínez Ocasio, aka musician Bad Bunny) and Hornet (played by Zazie Beetz).

Meanwhile, the White Death's son is killed off with help from a poisonous snake, Channing Tatum makes an uncredited cameo, Thomas the Tank Engine gets several shout-outs, and Yuichi's father – known only as The Elder (Hiroyuki Sanada) – arrives on the scene. There's an awful lot going on, in other words.

Anyway, it's only when Michael Shannon appears as The White Death that we really get a handle on exactly what's going down – and why these assassins are all on board the same train at the same time.

Earlier on, we were told that the White Death has for a long time been mourning the death of his wife, who died after she was caught up in an assassination attempt aimed at him, and it turned out that he was eager to ensure everyone who could in any way be considered responsible for her death was on the train – predicting that they would end up in a battle and kill each other.

Joey King as The Prince
Joey King as Prince Sony

He's especially annoyed at Ladybug – thinking he was the man primarily responsible for the assassination, failing to realise that he is in fact simply filling in for another agent known as Carver (a Ryan Reynolds cameo) who had been the real culprit but called in sick from this mission at the last minute.

Meanwhile, we also learn that Prince – surprise, surprise – is actually not really an English schoolgirl but a Russian who happens to be the White Death's daughter, and she is especially eager to kill off her own father.

Anyway, slowly but surely, the assassins that have survived the ordeal so far – including Lemon, Ladybug, and Yuichi – realise that they are really on the same side: they each want to see the White Death dead, and so join forces to ensure that they achieve their goal.

And so an almighty battle ensues, with Lemon now desperately trying to drive the out-of-control bullet train. Despite some tricky moments – including Lemon being ejected off the train into some deep water along with the man he was fighting – the assassins are eventually able to win, with the final blow coming courtesy of a water bottle that has been surprisingly involved throughout (and which even gets its own montage).

The survivors then meet up with Ladybug's handler Maria Beetle (Sandra Bullock) and it briefly seems the danger is over – only for it to become apparent that Prince still wants to kill off the rest of the assassins, something she very almost manages.

In the end, though, it's Lemon who saves the day. We learn that after he had landed in the sea, he killed off the man he had been battling and soon came across, of all things, a truck transporting tangerines – a nice nod to his fallen comrade, who had died while still on the train.

He gets in the truck and drives it, eventually careering right into Prince and killing her just as she was about to pull the trigger, saving Ladybug and co and ensuring a happy ending, of sorts.

Bullet Train is showing in UK cinemas. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide or visit our Movies hub for all the latest news.

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