REVIEW: Train to Busan (2016)

traintobusan

southkorea-icon

2016, Next Entertainment World/RedPeter Film

Director:
Yeon Sang-Ho
Producer:
Lee Dong-Ha
Writer:
Park Joo-Suk
Cinematography:
Lee Hyung-Deok
Editing:
Yang Jin-Mo

Cast:
Gong Yoo (Suh Seok-Woo)
Ma Dong-Seok (Sang-Hwa)
Jung Yu-Mi (Seung-Kyung)
Kim Su-An (Suh Su-An)
Kim Eui-Sung (Yon-Suk)
Choi Woo-Shik (Young-Guk)
Ahn So-Hee (Jin-Hee)
Choi Gwi-Hwa (The Homeless Man)
Jung Suk-Yong (KTX Captain)
Ye Soo-Jung (In-Gil)
Park Myung-Sin (Jong-Gil)
Jang Hyuk-Jin (Ki-Chul)
Kim Chang-Hwan (Kim Jin-Mo)
Shim Eun-Kyung (The Runaway)

This is one train ride you will not want to take when an outbreak unleashes a horde of zombies in this exciting Korean thriller.

Workaholic hedge fund manager Suh Seok-Woo has not been there much for his daughter Su-An, whose birthday is coming up. At the request of both her and her mother, who has been divorced from Seok-Woo, Su-An wants to see her mother for her birthday in Busan. Despite his reservations, Seok-Woo decides to take Su-An on the train to Busan. They board at a KTX station, where they come across the likes of working class man Sang-Hwa and his pregnant wife Seung-Kyung; a high school baseball team, two elderly sisters, and an arrogant selfish company CEO, as well as a homeless man who goes to the washroom and begins to freak out.

When a runaway girl enters the train, she is seen to be seriously hurt. However, the girl slowly transforms into a zombie and begins an outbreak within the train. The group head towards another train car and soon find themselves trapped until they are able to reach other station. As the group finds a station, they have learned the outbreak has spread and the group of survivors find themselves under constant attack. Some make it, and some don’t. One thing is for sure, Busan is the last safe haven for the survivors and to get there, they must board the train and protect themselves at all costs. Who will survive and who will fall?

Remember the movie Snakes on a Plane that pretty much tells what the story is about? This film may as well as be called Zombies on a Train. Yet, this is a really good film thanks in part to not only having such influences from the likes of George Romero and company, but what’s even more fascinating is the fact that once someone gets bitten, they automatically turn instead of being dead, they become the living dead literally. Some of the physical aspects of the zombies are quite interesting in terms of their movements. It must have taken dedication from these physical stunt actors to really dish out the madness. Let’s also remember these are not zombies that move slow, but run at breakneck speed at times and just go for the jugular.

The core group themselves are an eclectic bunch who may seem to have that stereotypical aspect when it comes to characterization. Gong Yoo is the divorced dad who attempts to make some sort of amends with his daughter. Ma Dong-Seok’s Sang-Hwa is the working class man who at first has no liking to Gong’s Seok-Woo because of some actions and because of his job. However, while they do work together to stop the zombie horde, there is one character that has to be the selfish one who will only care about themselves so much they will not only push anyone in their way to escape, but go as far as convince others that other survivors are infected in an attempt to save their own tail. From the get-go, you can guess what character that is, and let’s face it, wishes throughout the film they get theirs.

Most of the zombie action takes place on the train and there is a nice fight scene where we see Seok-Woo, Sang-Hwa, and one of the baseball players attempt to reach the other survivors by taping their arms to prevent from getting bitten and use anything they can, in the case of Sang-Hwa, some kickboxing like moves to fend off the zombie horde. It is here where they discover that like everyone, even the zombies have a weakness. And no, it is not a weak point on their bodies, but something even more interesting. Something that shows there is still a bit of human quality to the living dead.

Train to Busan is a thrilling zombie action thriller that can be said to have a re-title of Zombies on a Train, with an eclectic cast involved and most of the action taking place on the train, making good on its promise. If you like zombie films, then this is one to definitely check out.

WFG RATING: A

Well Go USA Home Entertainment will be releasing this title on DVD & Blu-Ray on January 17, 2017. Special features include the making of the film and trailers for this film as well as other titles in Well Go USA. To pre-order your DVD or Blu-Ray, click on the image below:

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