Today, I’m going to be talking about the spinoff/sequel to Train to Busan, and this one is called Peninsula. I was a bit of a late-bloomer when it came to the first film in this franchise, but once I saw it, I pretty much got sucked into the action from the beginning, all the way to the end. It was a very contained, consistent, and honestly kind of claustrophobic film that somehow was able to juggle high-octane action with really believable and emotionally-driven performances. It wasn’t a movie to miss, especially if you were a fan of zombie films. Needless to say, like many others, I was definitely really excited to see this movie about a group of individuals with insane legerity…let’s get crackin!
This review is brought to you by the word of the day: Legerity.
Swiftness of motion.
Peninsula takes place four years after the events of Train to Busan. For the most part, all of South Korea has been quarantined off, and every healthy survivor has been moved out. The dead now walk the empty streets. That is until a brand new group of individuals agree to go back into South Korea to find a specific food truck that is told to contain bags of money worth $20 million dollars.
As I said, I really like the first Train to Busan film. In my opinion, it’s easily one of the better zombie films in the last decade, just because of how well it was made. It had such a keen eye on how suspense really works, because it was such a tense film filled to the brim with characters that you really loved, but what about the sequel? Well, it’s not horrible, I can tell you that. It’s not exactly the best thing, either. That being said, it does have a ton of really great action sequences. The first action sequence that takes place on a cruise ship in particular is potentially the best scene out of the entire film. In fact, if it were up to me, I would have made the entire film, or at least two of the three acts, take place on the boat and then maybe a zombie-filled boat hits land, and another country is infected with zombies. That would have kept everything a lot more contained and claustrophobic like the first one, but basically, this scene takes place in, I don’t know, five to ten minutes tops before they move onto the real plot of the film. The real plot of the film, though, isn’t as good.
It’s actually kind of reminiscent of the Jurassic Park films where the world would have been fine because the dinosaurs are contained on their little islands, but the faults of man keep sending them back to the islands, and bad things keep happening because men are greedy and stupid. Same thing here. If nobody went to South Korea for that truck full of money, nobody would have died or been in trouble, but once again, greed becomes the culprit of all bad things that happen. That idea alone isn’t horrible. It just gets a little bit convoluted when this group of people that go into South Korea together all get separated and carry out their own little missions – so, it’s no longer contained. Everyone is off doing their own thing, and I hate when that happens, because all it feels like is everything is watered too thin.
But again, this is a series that consistently focuses a lot on action, and the action is once again really good. There’s the opening scene on the boat, which is really good, some car chase stuff works pretty well, and there’s an arena in the film that is also pretty exciting. There’s little moments here and there throughout the movie that have just as good of action set pieces, but again, the main problem comes down to the fact that it doesn’t flow together as well as the first, and because it’s so watered down, you just feel the length of this one so much more than the original. There’s also some issues with visual effects and unrealistic physics during car chases, but those were mostly just little things that didn’t bother me as much as the pacing.
Let’s go ahead and talk about my final score for a second. This is one of those films where my biased score agrees with my unbiased score, because in both scenarios, I think the film is decent, but not everything it could have been and significantly worse than the first one. Both my scores for the unbiased and biased scores are 70% because it’s a movie that, all-around, was made pretty well, it just didn’t blow my socks off. When we average the two scores together, we come to the final rating of 70%, 70 out of 100 possible stars or a C- letter grade. This is a very average film that has some really exciting sequences scattered throughout the movie here and there, but it’s definitely a film series where I’d much rather just watch the first.
Guys, let me know your thoughts on Peninsula in the comments down below. Do you think it lived up to the first film, or were you left disappointed overall? Until next time…