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Train to Busan (2016)

(Last Updated On: August 11, 2019)

Train to Busan (2016)

Title: Train to Busan

Year: 2016

Genre: Action | Horror | Thriller|

Runtime: 118 min

Director:  Sang-ho Yeon

Starring:  Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-Seok Ma

imdb 7,5/10

While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.


Watching something else than English-spoken movies is often always refreshing. The south-Korean film industry doesn’t have that much of budget but seems to always find a way to explore the options and provide an entertaining movie.

Train to Busan chronicle a story, that probably would work in the US or in Europe but doesn’t have the same emotional feeling. World War Z is proof of that. It would never be the same mostly because Hollywood tends to overdo it and ruin it with more than necessary. The movie follows a father, played by Yoo Gong, with his daughter who takes the train to Busan, as the mother could come with. It’s a business trip and he doesn’t have that much of bond with his child but tries to make it up to her.

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The outbreak seems to happen early in the movie. It has a very short impact on the characters as these zombies are fast and relentless. Not like in The Walking Dead, where it takes forever to these creatures to attack their subject. Then there are some cliché characters that feel like an obvious choice for the story. We do have an antagonist, the protagonist, the young couple and the protective guy with a pregnant wife.  The actor who plays the overprotective father here is going to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He got a role in The Eternals, that arrives in theaters next year.

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Based on the actors, you know what kind of character they’re or tries to be. They don’t give all that good, but some are actually decent and gives a performance that is crucial for the story yet it’s not all that ground-breaking and emotional. Most of the story and the direction helps the actors to reflect for the story and they just run along. Not all, but they’re a few that get the plot in a different direction built on their actions. They’re not all three-dimensional or dynamic but some of their choices are given.

Besides that, much of the direction and story become predictable sometimes based on how ´the director does the build-up. You know what going to happen as this is not really an original story, but it has some interesting plot points that could be interesting to discover. The visual effects are good but not ground-breaking and are often fake or misplaced in the story.

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For being a directional debut-film, this is a well-made movie and deserve all the praise it can have. The gore is kept at a minimum and it gets smarter by the end. The fast zombies fit the plots and feel sometimes intimate as the movie discovers new ways to make it interesting for the audience.



Marcus J. Ström
Marcus J. Ström
Marcus Ström | Journalist/writer and Chief Editor.

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