Train to Busan 2 (2020)

Train to Busan 2 (aka Peninsula)
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Writer: Sang-ho Yeon, Ryu Yong-jae
Sequel to: Train to Busan (kinda)
Cast: Dong-won Gang, Jung-hyun Lee, Re Lee, Hae-hyo Kwon, Min-Jae Kim, Kyo-hwan Koo, Do-yoon Kim, Ye-Won Lee
Seen on: 9.10.2020

4 years ago, Jung-seok (Dong-won Gang) lost most of his family in the zombie virus outbreak when he tried to use his military connections to get them out of the country. All that is left is his rather useless brother-in-law Chul-min (Do-yoon Kim). Four years later, Jung-seok is out of the army and Chul-min has a knack for getting them both in trouble. His most recent escapades put him in the crosshairs of a group of gangsters who pressure Chul-min and Jung-seok to return to South Korea to get something from the zombie-infested wasteland it became. But things don’t go the way anybody had planned and Jung-seok has to find a way to get out of South Korea again.

I was very excited to get a sequel to Train to Busan, but really the only thing that Peninsula shares with it is that it is set in the same world as Train to Busan. Unfortuntately it can’t keep up with the high standard Train to Busan set and was ultimately a disappointment.

The film poster showing a landscape filled with car wrecks, a zombie herd in the distance, and a lone gunman in front of them.

The beginning of the film was pretty good and lured me in with some high hopes. The sequence on the ship maybe wasn’t as great as Train of Busan, but they were engaging and slightly devastating in their inevitability. But as soon as the film gets to its actual story, it starts to disappoint and disappoint some more.

For one, it was quickly clear that Peninsula is only a sequel in the very loosest sense and I kept waiting in vain that a familiar character would show up (it would have been so easy, for example, to make the people Jung-seok meets the survivors of Train to Busan, but no). I could have lived with that if I had just cared about the new characters as I did about the old, but no such luck. The girls were cute, as was their grandpa, but I just never connected with them that much.

A zombie in a cage fight.

But maybe the even bigger problem was that the narrative was all over the place and most of the action scenes consisted of car chases. Badly animated, cheap-looking car chases. I do not watch zombie movies for the car chases especially not car chases that look like they were made with matchbox cars in a beginner’s animation class.

I wish things had been different. I was really excited about seeing Peninsula. But the film quickly disabused me of that excitement. I’d rather forget that Train to Busan was ever continued in any way.

Jung-seok (Dong-won Gang) hiding fully armed behind a car.

Summarizing: disappointing.

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