Remember ol’ Train to Busan, the story of a father trying hard as fuck to get his daughter to her mother via train during a zombie apocalypse? That one had suspense, human drama, and plenty of gut munchers, and seemed like a breath of fresh air among the fetid pile that is the over-saturated zombie film genre.
That brings us to Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula, the follow up to that aforementioned fright flick, and while the zombies remain, little else from the first go-around remains.
In a prologue set during the time of the first film, we get a touch of that ol’ magic from the first film as South Korean Marine Captain Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won) tries unsuccessfully to flee the zombie menace along with his sister and her family (only her husband and the Captain survive), on a boat that is soon overrun with the infected.
Flash forward four years, and Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon), that previously mentioned husband and Jung-seok are on a mission to head back to the korean peninsula (now sealed off from the rest of the world) at the behest of a gang of criminals to help retrieve a truck containing $20 million, for which they, and their two partners, will receive half the loot.
Once there they have to not only contend with the hordes of hungry dead, but the crazed machinations of Unit 631, a militia led by the crazed Sergeant Hwang (Kim Min-jae… think Rhodes from Romero’s Day of the Dead) and his equally off-kilter partner Captain Seo (Koo Kyo-hwan)… so things aren’t exactly coming up Jung-seok to say the least…
So as you can tell; this is a different animal all-together; we get a larger core of main characters, but not as much gravitas, and the action element is upped considerably.
Is that a bad thing? Certainly not for me, as I enjoy an uncomplicated zombie action-fest as much as the next guy, but therein your mileage may vary. Actually, you know what? This thing comes off a lot like Escape From New York with zombies… that’s fuckin’ rad, if a nearly complete departure from the aesthetic of part one!
One thing this picture isn’t lacking is a veritable ass-load of impressive urban apocalyptic imagery and an absolute army of the undead (who are dispatched in various and sundry violent ways), and that’s something every zombie fan can dig on, eh my cats n’ creeps? Hell, there’s even a zombies against humans gladiatorial event with it’s own halftime show(which takes place in an abandoned shopping mall just to slap your chops with another Romero homage).
As for extra features on this Blu-ray release from Well Go USA Entertainment; we get a collection of brief making-of/interview featurettes, as wella s the film’s teaser and theatrical trailers.
Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula is a damn fine piece of zombie-centric action picture dearing-do; just don’t go into it expecting the tone of the first film.