I was really impressed with Sang ho-Yeon’s Train To Busan (2016) though when I heard that there was a sequel I was curious about it but also somewhat concerned because sequels can be franchise killers in that they either are clones of the original movie – making them pointless – or they’re so wildly divergent that they seem like little more than cash grabs (like too many movies in the Hellraiser franchise).
Train To Busan Presents: Peninsula threads that fine line unusually well, making it recognizable as a sequel, yet different enough that it’s not only memorable, but is it’s own animal.
The movie takes place four years after the events of Train To Busan and the zombie plague introduced in that movie has overrun South Korea. The government has evacuated to Hong Kong and while they’ve taken a lot of people with them, there were some that were left behind.
Peninsula isn’t Train To Busan, which sounds fairly obvious on the face of it but at the same time not so much because as I said earlier, sequels oftentimes repeat the original movie, just tweaking certain details.
So people might be a bit turned off what they find here, but if you give it a chance you’ll likely find it worth it because this is a great movie.
It lacks the focus – deliberately so – of Busan, instead brining us a melange of various movies, such as The Fast And The Furious, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, World War Z, and last but not least John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, which the whole visual esthetic and overall themes are owed to.
It’s pretty ambitious and works because despite being composed of a lot of interesting movies though more importantly, it feels cohesive and it’s own animal.
In fact, if you’ve seen none of the movies that I listed above you’ll likely not even notice what I did and just enjoy it for what it is, which is a damn engaging entertainment.