Sunday, May 7, 2017

Train to Busan (부산행) (2016)

Director: Yeon Sang-ho
Writer: Park Joo-suk
DOP: Lee Hyung-deok
Cast: Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung Yu-mi
Language: Korean

The film takes place in a train to Busan as a Zombie apocalypse breaks out in Korea which threatens the safety of the passengers. Most of the country is infected and it is not like getting out of the train will solve things.

The story is told mainly from the perspective of a father-daughter duo who are traveling to meet the mother, the other half of the divorced couple. Father doesn't have much time for his daughter as he is a busy hedge fund manager and advocates selfishness. Daughter is more influenced by her mother and is the do-good type. The situation they are in forces the father to be a hero as he teams up with other characters to survive it.

The film is really well-made on the technical fronts and the zombies in it are not the sleepy slow types but are quite rabid. Film is quite clichéd in terms of story progression regarding who gets killed and the social commentary that it is trying to make with the background and behaviour of its characters. But I do think they are knowingly embracing the clichés and so it is not that problematic. East Asian films are never known for subtlety once you exclude Wong Kar-Wai anyway.

Train to Busan got premiered at Cannes in the midnight screenings section but I would categorise it more as a thriller than horror. It was a blockbuster in South Korea and managed to gross close to $90 million worldwide. Some have termed it as a better version of World War Z but I haven't seen WWZ. WWZ-2 is supposed to be in the making with David Fincher at the helm.

Rating: 3.5/5