Peninsula – Review

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Peninsula opened convincingly, through some footage that implies a picture of how the scale of the zombie attack has grown, and affects the lives of South Korean people. Considering the greatness of Korean filmmakers regarding inserting humanitarian stories in various genres – which is the strength of Train to Busan – I am also excited to look forward to what this sequel will offer. Top Movie Site

That spirit slowly faded, once realized that Peninsula was following the formula “the bigger the better” in the making of the sequels. Not a problem as long as it is implemented properly. But not only stripping away the elements that made Train to Busan loved by the public (even though I think it’s overrated), Peninsula even failed to execute the formula, to at least give birth to an entertaining follow-up story.

In the prologue that feels like a tribute to the first film (it’s just that trains are replaced by ships), we are introduced to Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won), a military member who brought his older sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, to flee to Japan using ship. But the plague seems to have spread on the ship. Almost all of the passengers, including Jung-seok’s brother and nephew, died.

Four years later, Jung-seok, who lives in Hong Kong with his brother-in-law, Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon), is still overpowered by feelings of guilt. Until the two of them accept a simple mission, to bring a truck filled with money as much as $ 20 million, which suddenly disappeared on the Korean peninsula. Of course it’s not that easy. In addition to zombies, they must face the militia forces that control the area. Best Movie

Dong-won is convincing as a champion of the fight. We believe he can eradicate zombies, whether using firearms or bare hands. But the character he plays is empty. Jung-seok lost everything, before the audience got to know him more closely. Once we spend more time with him, he becomes a boring gloomy figure. Fortunately, later a more interesting line of characters appeared.

In the midst of a zombie siege, Jung-seok is saved by a pair of brothers, Jooni (Lee Re) and Yu-jin (Lee Ye-won). Jooni has the driving skills that will amaze Dominic Toretto, while Yu-jin, even though he is still a kid, is not afraid to face zombies, even though only armed with a toy car. Jung-seok is taken to a hideout, where their delusional grandfather (or is he?), Kim (Kwon Hae-hyo), and his mother, Min-jung (Lee Jung-hyun) also live. Jung-seok gets to know Min-jung, and a sense of guilt for her past actions grows. But I don’t care.

The more I get to know this family, the more I want to spend some time watching their unique dynamics and how the four of them survive in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. It would be better if they were all the main characters. But Peninsula does not allow that, and instead continues to add another side character, taking us to visit the headquarters of the Unit 631 militia, to meet a group of unattractive figures who represent the clichédness of wild survivors in post-apocalyptic films.

At the base of Unit 631 there is a “gladiator show”, where the prisoners are forced to fight zombies, in a sequence that is executed too tame to reinforce the impression of the law of the jungle. At least the sequence is still better and clearer than the majority of other actions that take place in the dark of the night, featuring things going fast (cars, trucks, zombies), in perfunctory CGI packaging. Plus the chaotic directing of Yeon Sang-ho (Train to Busan, Psychokinesis), as well as frantic editing as a way to manipulate several stunts, let alone feeling tension, digesting what appears on the screen is difficult.

Prior to this, I watched The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale which is entertaining and creative. This film needs a similar injection of creativity. The creativity that makes mainstream South Korean cinema so passionate, powerful and colorful. Closing the Peninsula is a conclusion to a story of penance and sacrifice that is lacking in emotion, except for extreme amusement, hearing the words of one of the members of the UN peacekeeping force, who delivered sentences that are basically ridiculous, so flat. One of the funniest endings this year. Movie Review

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