Monday, January 16, 2017

Movie Review: "Train to Busan" (2016)

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Movie"Train to Busan" / "Bu-san-haeng"
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Year: 2016
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 58 minutes

A father takes his daughter to Busan on her birthday so she can visit her mother. While en route, a zombie outbreak begins to overwhelm the train and the cities of South Korea.

"Train to Busan" is a South Korean horror film written and directed by Sang-ho Yeon. It stars Yoo Gong as Seok Woo, a divorced father of a young girl named Soo-an, played by Soo-an Kim. Seok works in finance and his busy schedule keeps him from spending a lot of time with his daughter. Her birthday is coming up, and as a gift, she wants her father to take her to Busan so she can see her mother. Feeling bad about neglecting her recently, he agrees. The two hop on a train from Seoul to Busan, and just as they do, unbeknownst to them, a zombie outbreak strikes the city, and one of the infected has managed to get on their train. It isn't long before that one zombie turns into dozens more, and everyone aboard has to fight for survival.

There have been many different types of zombies used in movies and television throughout history. Some are slow moving, like the "walkers" seen in the television show "The Walking Dead," and others are fast and ultra aggressive, like the ones seen in "28 Days Later." This is definitely the latter. The zombies in "Train to Busan" are fast and even more aggressive than you can imagine. They crawl over each other to get to anything and everything living, and they murder people fast and quick. They contort in every which way once they are "turned" and writhe and wiggle about looking for their next victim. The zombies here aren't actually looking to feed on the living, but rather to spread like a virus as quickly as possible. They simply bite to kill, and once the people they bite is infected, they move on to the next victim, causing a rapid spreading of the outbreak.

This is an amazingly exciting zombie outbreak film executed in a simple but effective manner. It is very exhilarating to watch and is full of extremely intense action horror, but it is also has a well thought out narrative with deeper issues at play. Those behind the scenes have made comparisons between those who are completely self-serving and only concerned with self preservation, to others who are willing to risk their own well being to help others. Fast-paced zombie movies aren't usually a go-to for emotionally moving moments, but this film has those, too. We feel there are also some political undertones here as well, making this more than your average "kill-kill-kill"-fest.

We really love "Train to Busan." We are huge suckers for Korean cinema and zombie flicks, but both of them in the same movie? WINNING. If you're reserved about this for whatever reason, take a chance on it because we absolutely recommend this film. It will get you deeply invested in the characters and their various plights, and may even make you a little scared or excited at all of the zombie action.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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