Train to Busan Presents – Peninsula, the sequel to my second favourite Korean film, Train to Busan (2016) has unfortunately not managed to escape the dreaded ‘sequel curse.’ The curse being that movie sequels are rarely, if ever, better than, let alone as good as the original.
Set four years after South Korea was devastated by a zombie attack, the story of Peninsula follows a former soldier who managed to escape overseas. The same soldier takes on a mission to go back. And to his surprise, there are survivors.
Had Peninsula been absolutely terrible, I’d have stopped watching and I probably wouldn’t commit any words to type about the experience. ‘Great’ is not a fitting word to describe Peninsula. Yet, there are a few moments in director Sang-ho Yeon’s movie that I’ll remember fondly. The first being the ‘daughter’s driving’ and the second involves a scene or two where the action is so intense that I had to pause to catch my breath.
As for specific elements that didn’t work well, part of what made Train to Busan great was the humorous moments. There’s sadly none of that in Peninsula. Furthermore, the zombie makeup looked as good as the first time. But the first movie had much better zombie action sequences.
Performance-wise, generally, everyone did well. Yet, they were let down by the film’s reliance on many very familiar tropes. The most frustrating moment of all frustrating moments in Peninsula concerns the use of an overly familiar trope to the most EXCESSIVE degree; to the point where it was r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s. Ridiculous!
If you haven’t already watched the original movie, please do so because it’s great. Now, try your best to forget that this new one exists. That is, of course, unless disappointing sequels happen to be your thing.
Happy Film Loving