Spoiler alert: This article contains movie spoilers for Bullet Train and book spoilers for the Kōtarō Isaka novel on which it is based.
If you're looking for an escape from this miserable August heat wave, we suggest treating yourselves to a movie; from the air-conditioned auditorium to endless amounts of buttery popcorn and sweet treats, you'll have a wonderful experience.
Well, what is there to see? There's plenty in theaters, but we recommend Bullet Train.
Starring Academy Award winner Brad Pitt as the hapless assassin "Ladybug," the action-comedy film follows along as he's entrusted with stealing a briefcase on the world's fastest train headed from Tokyo to Kyoto. Throughout the story, various twists and turns arise as Ladybug encounters a myriad of deadly opponents who, along the way, realize their tasks are all connected.
If you're eager to know what happens, stick around as we explain the ending of Bullet Train — both the book AND the film.
First, the book: Here's the 'Bullet Train' novel's ending, explained.
After quite the fast-paced story, the book Bullet Train takes a more relaxed approach and provides a definitive ending.
Our least favorite character, the Prince, is the mastermind behind the chaos on the train; he entertains himself by manipulating the passengers, especially his fellow assassins, and hiding the highly sought-after briefcase.
Following various deaths, including Tangerine, Lemon, and the Hornet, the survival rate dwindles until Ladybug and the Prince are the only assassins remaining ... or are they? In the end, Kimura's parents arrive on the train and reveal to the teenager that they put a stop to the Prince's harrowing plan of killing Kimura's son, Wataru. It's then implied that they kill the Prince.
Soon enough, the train pulls into the last station and Ladybug reunites with his handler, Maria.
As the two leave the station — without the briefcase, might we add — mob boss Minegishi is murdered on the platform via poison needle, which was the Hornet's speciality; thus, this confirms that two people assumed the identity.
The last chapter of Isaka's novel jumps two months later, taking place at a supermarket where Ladybug enters a giveaway and wins a box of full of fruit — the catch? It's packed with tangerines and lemons, suggesting Ladybug's frenemies are back. It's a very odd ending, but it's honestly pretty heartwarming and hilarious at the same time.
Hopefully, the film stays true to the story until the very end!
Now, the film: How does the 'Bullet Train' movie end?
Unfortunately for fans of Isaka's novel, the film version of Bullet Train offers a totally different ending.
After Kimura's father, the Elder, exposes Prince for who she really is, he explains the backstory of the White Death (a new character that killed Minegishi) to Ladybug and how dangerous of a criminal leader he is.
As the train arrives in Kyoto, it's revealed that both Lemon and Kimura survived the Prince's near-fatal attack. In the end, viewers discover that the White Death is the one behind all the chaos on the train; according to the White Death, each of the assassins on the train (expect Ladybug) played a part in his wife's death, and he wanted revenge.
In another unexpected twist, it turns out Ladybug wasn't the one who killed the White Death's wife — it was Carver, a Canadian assassin who's spot on the train was filled by Ladybug. A third twist reveals that the Prince is the White Death's daughter; she despises her father for favoring his son over her.
After an epic battle ensues on the now accelerating train, the White Death meets his demise after shooting Ladybug with the Prince's rigged gun that explodes once the trigger is pulled. Unfortunately, the Prince is still alive and plans to claim her father's place at the top of Japan's criminal underworld; thankfully, Lemon runs the Prince over with a tangerine truck.
At last, Ladybug reunites with his handler, Maria.
Who are the assassins from 'Bullet Train'?
Bullet Train centers around several assassins, specifically:
- The Prince
- The Elder
- The Wolf
- The Hornet
For relevancy purposes, we'll describe the characters in the book and which actors are playing them in the film.
First off, we have Brad Pitt as Ladybug, a highly experienced yet unlucky assassin who wants to finally retire; unfortunately, he is pulled back in for another mission. As for the Prince, Kissing Booth actress Joey King takes on the role of this gender-swapped character. In the film, the Prince is a British assassin who cleverly poses as a schoolgirl.
Next, let's meet "the twins."
Introducing Tangerine and Lemon, played by Aaron-Taylor Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry, respectively. They're odd, but boy, are they the skillful duo; Tangerine is levelheaded and well-read, while Lemon is quite frantic and obsessed with Thomas & Friends.
Then there's Kimura (Andrew Koji), a former hitman who boards the train to carry out revenge against the Prince after the teen shoved Kimura's son off the roof of a building for fun. Later in the story, Kimura's father, a former assassin with the codename "The Elder" (Hiroyuki Sanada), arrives on the train and pulls the plug on the Prince's plans.