Train to Busan
South Korea 2016
Written by Sang-ho Yeon
Directed by Sang-ho Yeon
Watched on 23.09.2016
I have a hard time believing that the guy who did “Seoul Station” also is responsible for “Train to Busan”, since this is a far superior work in almost every way, and definitely one of the best zombie movies from the recent past. Granted, it takes its time to get going (which, however, is important to introduce the characters, which pays off really well later on), it’s a tad too long (even though still feeling shorter than “Seoul Station”, even though it’s actually half an hour longer), and even though it’s a lot quieter and not as excessive, there still is the occasional scene where the characters acted just a tad too hysteric for me. Apart from that, though, it was a great, wonderful, strong and occasionally incredibly intense film.
One of the most impressive things about “Train to Busan” are the scenes of zombie mayhem. There are so many stunning and incredible moments, like when a horde of zombies simultaneously tries to crawl over the seats in the train, zombies falling from helicopters or out of windows, or hanging on to a driving train. And the best thing about it: As far as I could perceive, all of that was done without any CGI. Take note, Hollywood! (Seriously, the zombie crowd scenes in “World War Z” pale that hard in comparison, it’s not even funny.) The characters were also great, and – in contrast to “Seoul Station” – also mostly acted in a smart way. The main standout is the big, beefy guy, who is incredibly likeable, funny and charming. However, I also quite liked the change that the main character is going through during all of this. He starts of like an, egoistic, self-absorbed asshole, and comes out as a guy who risks his life to safe others. And his daughter was really great, too; very well written, but also impressively played by Soo-an Kim (seriously, how awesomely talented is this girl?). Also: Even though there arguably was a little bit more social commentary in “Seoul Station”, there nevertheless are also some really strong moments in that regard, especially when it comes to the way people behave in a crisis like that – with one moment a particular standout (you’ll know it when you see it). And since I really wasn’t sure who was going to live or die (apart from a few exceptions), some scenes were really gripping and intense. “Train to Busan” featured some really strong moments, a great set of characters, awesome performances, and a couple of truly stunning, incredible scenes. Highly recommended!
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