Movie Reviews

Train to Busan: Peninsula Review – Dumbed-Down and Disappointing

Train to Busan: Peninsula Review – Dumbed-Down and Disappointing

Train to Busan: Peninsula offers a generic zombie movie with a dumbed-down, digitized, and cheesy sequel of the original.

Train to Busan wowed the entire world with a character-driven and inventive zombie movie in a time when the genre is a zombie in itself. Unfortunately, for some reason, it’s as if the writer and director thought the original must be some kind of a fluke and decided to do a complete 360-turn for its sequel.

There’s a decent enough backdrop here to promise an entertaining action movie. This is not the kind of sequel you would expect based on the quality of the original, but the prologue is interesting enough to continue watching. Unfortunately, all you’ll get is cliched and emotionally manipulative.

Peninsula is a predictable and wearisome thriller that relies on forced melodrama, forgettable action, and flat CGI. Think Escape from New York with zombies.

Zombies have taken over Korea but somehow never spread beyond its borders, turning the country into a post-apocalyptic land of the undead. Former Marine Captain Jung-seok manages to escape with his brother-in-law Chul-min. Both men languish in Hong Kong where they live as outcasts.

The two men plus two other Koreans get a job to go back and retrieve an abandoned truck with cash somewhere in the Peninsula. They’ll get a cut of the money, if, they manage to survive. While the Peninsula is being guarded by coastguards, anyone can sneak in a ship with a good bribe.

The 4-man crew eventually finds the truck and the lead characters move in the predictable beats of a stereotypical survival zombie movie.

There’s a family of survivors with a crazy old man, a group of soldiers that were left behind and become vultures, a kind of bloodsport that pits weapon-less stragglers against zombies, and a MacGuffin to move the plot along.

The characters are one-dimensional but made tolerable by the great performances of its cast. The car chase truck scenes are brought to life by shoddy CGI that made everything look cartoonish. The plot sets-up contrived emotional moments that all zombies here are just a nuisance.

Considering this movie as purely a zombie action thriller doesn’t give you much either. There is no sense of urgency and a real threat. The car chases get repetitive that it’s like watching a cut scene from a videogame. An SUV than runs like a Fast and Furious prop quickly wears off its novelty.

In the end, anyone who has loved the original will find nothing worthwhile here. Anyone who starts the franchise with this sequel is better off skipping it for the original.

Train to Busan: Peninsula

4

Train to Busan: Peninsula offers a generic zombie movie with a dumbed-down, digitized, and cheesy sequel of the original.

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