(This is Peninsula film review, which is a horror film that acts as a standalone sequel to Train to Busan)
The zombie genre has never really died out. And right in the middle of Covid, Train to Busan sequel, Peninsula was released to the world, and acted as a standalone sequel to the 2016 film.
It is directed by the same director Yeon Sang Ho and starred Gang Dong Won, Lee Jung Hyun, Lee Re and Kim Min Jae. Without further ado, let’s ride down the train to the Peninsula film review below!
The film is set 4 years after the original film and the virus has now spread to the whole Korean Peninsula(hence the title). Marine Captain Jung Seok was trying to rescue his sister and nephew but failed and then was tasked with capturing a truck full of cash all the way back in Incheon. Could he survive the ordeal?
Peninsula Film Review
The story is totally standalone and has almost no connection to the original film in any way except the zombies and the virus. At first, the full title that was marketed to the US audience actually was fooling you. As this film has never taken place in a train in any form. They are just using the Train to Busan trademark to market this film and you know that this is an obvious red flag. I must say the story itself is pretty unoriginal and rather uninspired, and also doesn’t really make much sense.
Gone are the dramatic touching moments from the first film that genuinely showed how people reacted to the zombies, as well as fighting for their lives through such horror. Now, this film showed a side that the world was approaching apocalyptic living style but it seemed quite forced. So you have a guy who willingly went back to Korea to get some cash as well as due to a guilt. And the whole story revolved around fighting for cash and killing bad guys. In a sense, the zombies were no longer the main ingredients of the film that spice things up, rather it was other humans.
I do like that they tried to do something new by portraying how much more dangerous deranged humans are compared to the zombies. But the way this film was executed, it removed some of the much needed emotional moments and interactions between characters that appeared in the first film. I also don’t like the fact, but I do love the action sequences, the film really focused much more on gunfight and car chasing. This essentially turned it into sort of Mad Max Korean version.
I must say the story itself is pretty unoriginal and rather uninspired
The pacing is thankfully pretty fast and steady, with things picking up quickly and we get to the meat of the action pretty early as well as lasting throughout the film. One thing that really stood out in this film is its CGI used in action scene, which I must say is really approaching Hollywood level. The whole sequence was intense and the way the cars hit the zombies and also showing the whole dilapidated Korean peninsula environment, it was really good quality and I’m utterly impressed.
I must say is really approaching Hollywood level
The characters themselves are sadly, more stereotypical in nature and none really stood out like those in the original film. Here, we have the usual 2 girls who were good at their tactics of fighting or driving off zombies, their mother who was able to drive a truck and use many guns. Then we have the bad guys who were shown to be really deranged and mad, and do bad things just because it’s fun. Gone are the great characters with unique personality and reasonings that dd what they did. Now, the characters are one-dimensional and black-and-white. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad and it’s hard to emotionally connect with any of them.
The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad and it’s hard to emotionally connect with any of them
Hell, even the main characters, who had the most amount of characterisation and character growth, was getting more one-dimensional as the film went. I just felt that the characters were the secondary aspects of this film, with the action sequences and gunfights being the first priority and getting the most attention. Overall, the characters are a big letdown, especially if you have watched the original.
The soundtrack and SFX are just okay. They fit the genre but none stood out to be memorable enough. SFX are great though, but that’s the only saving grace here.