Train to Busan Movie Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"
Writer/Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Starring: Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma, Woo-sik Choi, Sohee, Eui-sung Kim
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 1 hr 58 mins
Genre: Horror, Action, Drama
Country/Language: South Korea/Korean
How It Can Be Seen: VOD (Amazon)
For the past 30 years of my life I feel I have watched my fair share of Zombie flicks. Some have been the pinnacle of Zombie movies, while others are about as lifeless as the Zombies themselves. But in all of those years watching these kind of sub-genre movies, there has only been one that has made me cry. And I mean really cry! Not just shed a few tears, which that is what most people think of when they said they cried. I am talking about real crying. The kind that makes you look ugly -- Oh come on, don't get offended. I have yet to see a single person that looks good when they cry. That one movie that has made me shed a river of tears is Sang-ho Yeon's Train to Busan! Armed to the teeth with an all star ensemble Korean cast, this particular Z-Flick is one that I can say with confidence that it has hit me with the force of a speeding semi-truck, a barrage of emotions that seems to over shadow the singular emotion of fear. What I feel sets this film aside from other movies like it is the fact that it is fearless in allowing it to be a HUMAN story, The only other program that does this is AMC's The Walking Dead. Where we focus more on the lives of the people trying to survive, rather than having it concentrate mainly on the threat of the Zombies. And while that factor is clear and present in both The Walking Dead and Train To Busan, the creators of both really want the viewers to Feel other emotions while watching. The Zombies are merely a catalyst as a way to delve into the lives of those surviving the best way they can.
Train To Busan has a very direct storyline. A workaholic neglectful father begrudgingly accompanies his daughter, whom looks to be anywhere from 6-8 years old but has the maturity and wisdom of a 30 year old, to Busan, South Korea so that she can be with her mother, who happens to be his estranged wife. But when a virus spreads through out South Korea at a rapid pace, a race against time is at hand for survival as those who are living begin to be widdled down to just small chosen few! During this train ride though, before it even leaves the station, bizarre situations begin to occur, some that catch the attention of the little girl, played astonishingly by Soo-an Kim! The heart of the entire story hinges on the character of this girl and from what I witnessed, damn! Just give as many awards to her as possible for her performance! She has some highly intense emotional scenes to pull off, and pull them off she does! With the brilliance that only a seasoned veteran actor could achieve. And many times that just isn't even the case with most Actual seasoned actors. But in the case of little Soo-an, she won me over, from heart to soul! She just makes it looks so damn effortless dragging countless "Aw's" out of me without even breaking a sweat! With that I have to open up that spotlight to ALL of the actors and actresses, as each and every one of them bring it! There is no half assing with these performers! What I've noticed with Asian actors is that there is a different more intense aesthetic to the way they act. And with each passing scene, the film became more of a drama with large splashes of action and suspense. The horror lie within the way the living behaved during this crazy disaster, not with those who are infected themselves. Also I need to make mention of how they made these particular infected people different from the way most "Zombies" are in other films First of all, they never refer to them as Zombies in this picture. When they turn after they've been bitten or scratched, the change is rapid, within seconds actually! But after they do the characters who are fighting to survive begin to notice certain things about the infected that I found particularly exciting and so refreshing and just plain fuckin' cool! Train To Busan is the first film of it's kind that has ever made me weep while being a fiercely intense harrowing story about humanity and survival, and that is something to truly celebrate!