What happens when you get tired of running to the same restaurant for that one favorite dish of yours, over and over again? You go to another restaurant, or try out the same dish prepared by chefs from other nationalities, of course. Such is the case for Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula.
Instead of plummeting through hordes of zombie flicks from Hollywood (and inevitably come across really good ones like Overlord (2018), sometimes), why not try out the same zombie soup prepared by a chef from Koreawood?
Koreawood, as I call it, has started to dish out some unusually engaging films, after the Parasite-breakthrough which exploded last year. Director Yeon Sang-ho of Peninsula is not exactly a new face, as he himself had directed the film that gave way to the latter. Yes, Train to Busan (2016) might be the film that started it all, but oddly, Peninsula is not entirely a direct sequel.
Yeon made do with a fresh group of cast, which picks up the story thread after the incident in Train of Busan. Marine Captain Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won) returns to the post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested Korean Peninsula together with brother-in-law Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon) and other survivors to execute an unfinished task. Initially perceived as a painless job, the situation becomes more complicated as their presence is interrupted by other survivors of the outbreak, which includes single-mother Min-jung (Lee Jung-hyun) and ex-Sergeant Hwang (Kim Min-jae).
The narrative will unfold against a backdrop of a heavily CGI’ed, barren wasteland of South Korea, that hides under God-knows-how-many layers of CGI dust and smog. Yeon is trying to portray the location as a forsaken land which no nation wants to enter, aid or cleanse. And judging from the President of the US’ recent jab at Parasite for winning Oscars best picture, I truly doubt that any aid will come from the US in the actual event that South Korea faces an abundance of zombies.
One thing that is neat about Peninsula is that it starts off with a different footing compared to other zombie films. Most will…