Train To Busan Review
Director: Sang-ho Yeon.
"We are sorry to announce, that the 9:53 service to Waterloo has been cancelled due to a zombie outbreak" fortunately, for us in the UK, the chances of widespread outbreak via train networks is somewhat diminished due to strike action, bad weather and foliage on the tracks. (Joking aside, I actually like and praise our public transport and yes, I have and do, use it a lot)
We've had bombs on the bus, terrorists on a ship, snakes on a plane and now, zombies on a train. Korean animation director, Sang-ho Yeon gives us his live action feature debut which happens to be a sequel to his animated feature, Seoul Station that came out earlier this year.
There's no doubt, Sang-ho knows this genre well and all the elements of great zombie movies are predominantly there, especially the anxiety you feel for the characters being ferociously chased, willing them to "hurry the f€$% up" and moments of sudden disappointment when people are bitten or lost. It's like The Walking Dead cramped into one carriage.
It has an obvious storyline, that's doesn't really derail however, fortunately, that doesn't mean it's a total predictable fare, because it isn't. There's some clever elements that set a brilliant premise for key scenes and fights for survival. But in a nutshell, zombie outbreak, that leaks onto a fast moving train.
The characters are brilliant and are a mixture of flawed unlikely heroes that perform outrageous heroics in order to survive and protect their loved ones. Central to father and daughter, they meet a multitude of other commuters that's reminiscent of classic disaster movies like the Poseidon Adventure or Tremors.
Yoo Gong plays the neglectful father who reluctantly escorts his daughter to Busan; the daughter played by Soo-an Kim, who is simply amazing being the kind-hearted, curious and fearful child. Though Dong-seok Ma has to be my favourite and you'll see why, as he punches his way through the hordes of undead; the platform rush in particular was epic. There's one character who is so awful, I have not hated any other character quite so much since the dickless Walter Peck from Ghostbusters. But there's the typical business man, pregnant lady, granny, baseball-bat tottling teenagers and a hobo among the passengers.
There's actually quite a lot of emotional content, with some selfish stupidity and righteous retribution. The chemistry between the characters is conveyed greatly with dilemmas, difference of opinion and fear either dividing them apart or bringing them together.
The zombies themselves come as standard issue, usual makeup, script and costume, and as zombies come, they look and act the part superbly well, but what makes these a slightly different breed from your usual face-munchers is their unnatural movement, which can only really be described as body-popping, like they casted a bunch of street dancers to play the monsters, adding a more quirky and grotesque style of zombie.
It's pure brilliance and class, and certainly one of the best zombie movies I've seen. Incredibly action-packed for the 118min runtime and doesn't let up from the moment you first encounter the infected. A must for all zombie fans.
Running Time: 9
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for being an epic zombie movie!
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yes.