When 'Train to Busan' came to the US it was a big hit. I gave it a rather raving review on here when I first saw it and it's fascinating how much praise it universally gets. Even in a time of zombie-fatigue, this one has a heart and thrilling story that connected with audiences. Shortly afterwards, it was announced that a sequel, a remake, and an animated prequel (Titled: Seoul Station) were on their way.
While the remake is still rumored to be nearing production and the animated prequel has been released (and arguably not too bad), the sequel had everyone on their toes. It was supposed to release last summer in theaters - which Covid made sure wasn't quite a reality in the United States. But the studio sent it to VOD, Digital, and DVD/Blu Ray shortly after release so western audiences could see it. And I finally got a chance to see it last weekend.
Set 4 years after the original, the quarantined section of Korea - known as the Peninsula - is under heavy military segregation with serious orders for nobody to enter. So naturally, a team of crooks plan a major heist to go to an armored truck in the middle of the Peninsula and rob it to make millions. And nothing ever goes according to plan.
In the first film we learn that the zombies are ultra sensitive to sounds and light, so the heist takes place mostly under moonlight. When the plan begins to foil itself, we learn there are factions of survivors still living in the city who have found ways to survive - for better and for worse. And once their paths cross with our main characters, thing fall to a rather predictable, but still fun, cross roads.
It's a story that I feel I've heard a bunch already - and we have a Netflix film titled "Army of the Dead" releasing over the summer which is basically the same set up, but it's still pretty fun. It would be wise though to approach this film knowing its more an action film than a horror film. The zombies sprint, they flail over each other like in 'World War Z', and the heroes we follow are specialized in assault weaponry so they are basically never in any real danger. The emotional story is nowhere near as powerful as the first film's was, but there's still a lot to like here.
If you like the adrenaline fueled zombie films with lots of action, blood, and hordes of the undead, then this film is a great watch. Just don't expect them to rebuild the wheel or truly make you fear the darkness in your own home tonight.
'Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula" is currently streaming on Shudder.
Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra