A fast and the furious esque train ride. Zombies devouring humans who 10 seconds later turn into, yes 10 seconds, more zombies. The nation of South Korea crumbling apart. This is definitely a movie to go see. I’m not the biggest fan of zombie type movies, but I have seen a few of the best ones and Korean director Yeon Sang-Ho’s movie, Train to Busan is one of them. The film was a non-stop action packed and had an ongoing feel of suspense that kept you on the edge of your seats. The acting was top-notch, the script and characters were excellent and the cinematography was able to create quite a few good jump scares.
Coming into the cinema, I didn’t really have any expectations for the movie. When I found out that it was in Korean, I was expecting a more comedy-ish type of movie, with cheesy effects and a predictable plot. What actually surprised me the most was that the movie had a decent plot. Often we see Zombie movies that sort of just jam a couple of thousand zombies and huge explosions together (*ahem World War Z), but Train to Busan actually had an interesting thing going with the idea of putting the victims in a train. It also had a good side-plot of how each and every character would react when facing an apocalypse. The idea of “helping others” and sacrifice, and how the protagonist (Gong Yoo) changed from being “I-only-lookout-for-myself” type of guy to a hero.
The zombies also the weren’t slow and draggy zombies of “The Walking Dead”, they were fast, wild and vicious type. Their appearances were actually scary and every time you see them you’d get the feeling they were actually coming for you next. In between action scenes there was always an unsteady feeling, as if a zombie surprisingly would pop out of nowhere. It’s as if the characters were in constant danger all the time, you’d never feel safe. Even in the end, when the surviving characters are about to face the human survivors, they still face near death situations.
Never in my life have I met have seen such a hateable character in the history movies (Jar Jar Binks excluded). Seriously, this guy was a complete asshole throughout the ennnnntiiiireeee movie. It’s like a mixture of Joffrey Baratheon with a hint of the korean bully at my school. I was waiting for this guy to get his get his guts destroyed by a gigantic train. Props to Yeon Sang-Ho for creating such a disgusting character, because really, I’d rather stay in a room full of zombies than have a date with this douche. But in all honesty, I think that the set of characters in this train ride was crafted perfectly. (Spoiler Alert) It was sad to see the characters die one by one, especially the badass dude (Ma Dong-Seok) who single handedly 1v1000d the zombies, rest in peace man, rest in peace.
A very entertaining train ride indeed even though the plot may lack some depth and there were a few pacing issues, the movie overall was a solid zombie flick. It is, for me, one the best zombie movies I’ve seen and is definitely a must see film of 2016. A big WIN for the Korean film industry and director Yeon Sang-Ho, who is already planning a sequel.
FINAL GRADE: A-