• Review: Train to Busan (2016)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jan 23 15:36:23 2017
    TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016)
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth

    ***1/2 (out of ****)

    "Train to Busan" ("Bu-San-Haeng") is a South Korean zombie flick set aboard
    a high-speed bullet train. It's what "Snowpiercer" might have been had "Snowpiercer" been any good. Actually, it has a lot more in common with
    "The Host" ("Gwoemul"), also from the director of "Snowpiercer," with its central conflict of a regular family threatened by other-worldly adversity.
    In Sang-ho Yeon's film (another South Korean director!), Yoo Gong
    plays a self-centered funds manager who's reluctantly taking his young
    daughter (Soo-an Kim) to stay with his ex-wife in Busan. As they're
    leaving the station, an Infected staggers aboard. Unbeknownst to our
    hapless passengers there's a zombie virus playing out in Seoul and the surrounding countryside--and all hell is about to break loose.
    That's it, and it's a riot.
    Writer/director Yeon takes the standard zombie tropes and steps
    everything up a notch with sympathetic characters, classy plot twists, and occasional dollops of humor which go a long way in offsetting much of the otherwise off-putting zombie carnage. The zombies themselves are nasty,
    scary, and cool, snapping and twitching and gurgling with the requisite
    rabid desire to feed. "Rabid" is how someone refers to them in the film;
    it gives them a little more cred than simply undead.
    The film barrels along and it's to the director's credit that his
    two-hour film rarely hits a lull. When it does, there's something to be learned, some small familial moment to be savored, before the neck bitings
    and head clubbings and hand slammings start up again. In addition to our
    "hero" Seok Woo and his daughter Soo-an there's a pregnant woman (of
    course) with her burly husband, a teenaged baseball team fronted by a
    feisty cheerleader, an elderly bickering couple, and the train's corporate brass... who will prove influential in the final bid for survival.
    "Train to Busan" is a bit corny in places, but before you can even consider rolling your eyes the action starts up again, skillfully
    choreographed in close and claustrophobic quarters. Whip-smart and
    thrillingly delivered, Sang-ho Yeon's film is a rousing, crowd pleaser of
    the highest order. It's the very definition of a mondo midnight

    David N. Butterworth

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)