6.5/10 “Train to Busan” came out in 2016 and became the highest grossing Korean movie in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia while simultaneously getting nominated for many Asian cinematic awards. Upon watching it recently, I found it to be very generic and overrated for all of the acclaim it received, but there were some strengths to it like the character development and emotional aspects. Four years later we get this follow up that has nothing to do with the first movie, except for the fact that they both have zombies in them. Even though this film has several problems, I am happy to report that it is a much stronger film than its mediocre predecessor. The film starts off very rocky as we get characters making the dumbest, head scratching decisions possible as we can only watch in frustration at the stupidity onscreen. Luckily once the plot gets established, things get better but there were still other problems. There were several moments of extreme coincidence where characters were able to catch up to other characters they are pursuing super easily and able to find them even easier, which felt very lazy and unrealistic to me. The majority of the special effects look pretty cheesy and low budget, which you can chalk up to budget constraints but since the first movie did so well at the Asian box office, you would think they would have given them a bigger budget for this follow up. It was also pretty ridiculous that any time anybody was driving, there was always a clear path for their car to take, never having to deal with a complete road blockage; super convenient. The cars were also all fully functioning, full of gas and never seemed to get dented despite running into countless zombies. Finally, this film definitely isn’t shy about its influences with everything from “World War Z” to “Mad Max” popping up. Complaints aside, after the shaky start, the film gets better and has a pretty amazing third act to end on. Like the first movie, there is some great character development with our protagonists and some powerful emotional moments throughout the film. This film having a heart to it sets it apart from many other zombie movies that only care about the action. Speaking of action, that is another huge strength this film has. There were several impressive scenes with great action choreography, high octane action that was well shot and went on for quite a while. A gigantic car chase sequence in the third act was fairly lengthy and kept me on the edge of my seat. The pacing was strong for a two-hour film and the film made smart use of its time. When the film wasn’t throwing impressive action at the audience, it was developing the characters. While the film doesn’t add much to the overcrowded zombie genre, the fact that this was a step up from “Train to Busan”, had heart and pulse pounding action makes it an enjoyable viewing for zombie fans. If you aren’t into zombies, this film isn’t for you in the first place. If you are like me and love zombies, you could do a lot worse than entering this peninsula.
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