Saturday, October 22, 2016

Train To Busan (2016) movie review

Train To Busan (2016)

The funny thing about seeing an average of a movie a day or more is the fact that the more movies you see, the less you can write reviews about them!  In September alone I saw 50 movies in theaters, and since January 1st I have seen over 400 in theaters, and maybe a dozen online.  Trying to even write one review a day is hard, so unless I write shorter reviews, or learn to type much faster, I'm going to be lucky to do 100 reviews a year.  Oh well!  That's more than many people see in many years, so it will have to do.  Plus I do have older reviews I wrote on Quora that I haven't transferred here yet, so I can fill some pages with those.  Normally October is a ridiculous month for movies, as so many horror movies play, but this month it has been exceedingly quiet, both because I have seen most classic or popular horror movies, plus some places aren't showing nearly as much as in other years.  That being said, I am about to attend the FearNYC festival, which has a ton of both new and older horror movies, plus there is a Fulci retrospective happening as well, so I will be swamped the next two weeks.  Let's see if I can even get a review done in that time!

Train To Busan is the Korean zombies on a train (that should have been the title) mega hit which I saw a while back but is STILL playing around town.  Last I checked it grossed about 2 million dollars in the US alone, which is huge for a foreign film.  On top of that, it has been huge in many other countries as well, pulling in almost 90 million dollars worldwide.  For a simple zombie flick that's some major money!

Oddly enough, Train To Busan is actually a sequel to an animated film called Seoul Station directed by the same director as Train To Busan.  A nuclear plant, or some such place in Korea has a leak of some sort, and as we see in the opening scene a deer that is hit by a truck gets up and wanders away in a zombie like state.  We then meet a fund manager explaining to one of his clients that the rumors about some company are exaggerated, and he should hold on to his stock.  Meanwhile, he tells his co-worker to sell all the funds stocks in that company as soon as possible, showing everyone that he is a selfish dishonest kinda guy.  We then go home with him and see a bit about his family life, his mother, daughter, and ex-wife as well.  He decides to take his daughter to see his ex-wife in Busan, unaware of the zombie virus that has started.  He gets on the train with his daughter, and at the last minute a girl wanders on, having been bitten herself.

Now, we have all seen enough zombie movies to know that in a small confined area one zombie can take over the whole area in a short amount of time, depending on how quickly the infection spreads.  Needless to say, soon enough the train is filled with zombies, and it becomes a fight between the infected and non infected while they try to get to Busan, the only station that may be safe to stop in.

As it goes with most Asian movies, this movie is not just a zombie movie, but also a movie about honor, family, society and politics.  The characters are well formed, and interesting and watchable, and the acting is well done.  The effects are good, and it is gory enough for most horror fans, while not being too gory to bring your girlfriend.  There is enough plot to keep your interest, and although it is a long at almost 2 hours, it moves along well enough that it is not as boring as many films that are even shorter.

All in all I enjoyed this film, though I would not put this in the same category as Dawn Of The Dead, Night Of The Living Dead, or even 28 Days Later.  But it is better than most modern horror films I have seen in the past few years.

7 out of 10 stars.

Location : AMC Empire 25 , theater 5, NYC
Date and time : Wednesday, August 31st, 2016 at 10 PM
Format : DCP
Audience : about 40 people, many Korean