Train to Busan (부산행)
Train to Busan tops all the other zombie movies I have ever watched. You would assume that it would be scary because of the zombies. If anything, it felt like a “mature” family movie. The only scary aspect is the zombies.
Seok-woo (Gong Yoo), a divorced fund manager, must take his child, Su-an (Kim Su-an), to Busan, to visit her mother. However, while on the train to Busan, the entire country, South Korea, gets taken over by zombies. Now the passengers on the train must fight to survive and hope that they can take refuge in Busan, the last city offering refuge to humans.
Train to Busan has an engaging storyline and well-developed characters that we can root for to survive. When the zombies attacked the humans, it was pretty graphic. However, I praised the make-up artists and cinematographers for doing an excellent job in capturing the liveliness of the zombies. There were some pretty heart-pounding moments that can get audience members feeling anxious and you can feel this intensity from the silence and agony of the human characters when they are trying to escape from a hoard of zombies. Yet, I did enjoy the moments when everyone joins together to defeat the zombies and protect other humans (even though some of these characters don’t deserve to live).
Like any other zombie movie, though, there were moments when the human judgment was tested. The main protagonist, Seok-woo, is pretty selfish. In the beginning, he only cares about his job. However, he realizes what’s important in his life which is his daughter, Su-an, and he finally starts to act like a father figure to her when they are on the brink of death. Furthermore, Su-an begins to show her father that all lives matter besides his own as Seok-woo begins to help random strangers from zombies. The movie’s primary focus was on family relationships and the importance of caring for one another as opposed to cheesy romance developing at the end of the world like we’ve seen in most western Hollywood zombie movies. In fact, Train to Busan had many touching moments which brought me to tears. My reactions are due to explicitly seeing the pain of losing family members right in front of our eyes, which is relatable to most viewers regardless of whether it is by flesh-eating zombies or not.
Train to Busan is unlike any other zombie film I’ve seen and if you love zombie movies, I recommend this South Korean film.
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