If I were to ask you which is the best Zombie Movie of all time, most of you would answer Train To Busan. One of the reasons probably was the emotional father-daughter story in the movie which had struck a chord with the audience. And ofcourse there was a sense of fear built up due to Zombies on a moving train. I distinctly remember watching it in a theatre in 2016, probably the first South Korean movie to hit the theatres in India. Four years hence when the cinemas are open in India again, its sequel Peninsula releases. It already had a huge mountain to climb, was its sequel better than its predecessor, stay tuned.
Peninsula, a sequel to the extremely successful film and now a franchise Train to Busan, picks up from where the first part had ended. Instead here the story follows a group trying to retrieve a fortune from the mainland Peninsula. But the worrying factor are not Zombies alone! Now since this is touted as its successor, there will be comparisons. And so the story if I have to look at it individually, is very good, probably a bit over the top. But it doesn’t come anywhere close to its first part. The story is more like Fast and Furious or Mad Max but with Zombies! The screenplay is good but again lacks a solid emotional connect unlike its first part. Yes, there are moments wherein you might find yourself grabbing the box of tissues but somehow it ain’t organic. But there is much to appreciate here. The action sequences are excellently designed that will keep you invested. I really enjoyed the build up at the beginning wherein the characters search for the bounty. Just a word of caution – if you are looking for the horror element then they are few and far between. But if you are looking for some stylised action then this sequel is for you! The screenplay is layered too with multiple tracks being played out. Towards the end in that furious car chase, it seems straight out of a Rohit Shetty movie! The ending was good too, screenplay is entertaining nevertheless! The dialogues are good and so is the BGM. The VFX is not bad, it is very bad that totally ruins your movie watching experience! Director Yuan Sang-Ho has done a good job but then again falters trying to take the franchise forward.
The performances are all excellent. Min-Jae Kim as Sergeant Hwang is intimidating especially his entry sequence. Kyu-hwan Koo as Captain Seo is first rate. Re Lee as Jooni is excellent and she definitely packs a punch. Jung-hyen Lee as Min Jung has a lovely emotional track towards the end, she is simply outstanding. Dong-won Gang as Jung Seok is the star of the show. His action sequences are the highlight here!
Peninsula is nowhere close to Train To Busan but still thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable. Wonder if the makers missed a trick of not touting it as a sequel. Watch this in a theatre near you!