“Just when I thought I was out….they pull me back in.”
Jesus Tap-dancing Christ on a stick, I keep doing this to myself (and you readers) I swear on a stack of the bibles (I am too evil to actually touch) that I am completely, totally, and finally done with zombies. I think the wheels have fallen off of the zombie bandwagon and it has crashed and burned. Hell, I don’t even watch The Walking Dead anymore, which if said out loud at certain cons would likely get me beaten up in the parking lot. I swear that I will not review anymore damn zombie books, movie or TV shows and then somebody thrust just one more must see/read variation in my lap and away we bloody go again.
So bear with me this one last time. (I freaking swear)
Last night I checked out a much hyped 2016 zombie flick from South Korea of all places titled Train to Busan totally prepared to yawn my way through it like the good jaded fanboy that I am. Totally prepared to mock the been there seen that before aspects and call it a night.
That didn’t happen.
Train to Busan kicks serious ass on a number of different levels and was the most pleasantly surprising film I have seen in ages.
The film clocks in at 118 minutes, no slam bam gore fest over before the popcorn bucket runs empty. The director, Yeon Sang-ho uses the time to fully develop the characters of Train to Busan into living breathing people we care about and in some cases mourn when they get ripped to shreds. They have back stories and real flaws and strengths. Like a lot of good movies in this genre, it does not succeed by scorning the standard tropes but instead embraces them and gives them subtle twists.
The primary characters are a business man father and his young daughter, a pregnant woman and her husband, a teen couple, two elderly sisters and a vagrant of sorts. The action in Train to Busan, as the title suggests takes place on a high-speed bullet train that is racing towards safety during a zombie outbreak. At least one infected person is on board and soon most of the passengers are undead ravenous fiends. The uninfected battle their way from car to car on the train trying not to get their faces chewed off.
The action in Train to Busan is nonstop, no really after a slightly slow beginning once the action starts it literally does not allow you to take a deep breath until the satisfying ending. The effects and action shots more than rival any US made zombie flick I have ever seen and then some. Some of the zombie horde scenes remind me of World War Z but in fact, done just a bit better. Every action scene is a notch above the one before it until you are shaking with adrenaline from this top notch thrill ride of a movie.
I do have quibbles with this movie, it has the one flaw in zombie flicks this is a personal pet peeve of mine. Once someone is bit most turn instantly but others take their time as they serve as a plot device of some kind. You know, heroically holding off zombies so the others can get away or delivering a long speech that sets up another scene. I have always hated that.
That aside, I have to say that this is a brilliantly conceived and executed movie. It is in Korean with subtitles which is probably going to be a deal breaker for some of you. Everybody else, check this movie out you won’t be disappointed. Despite my quibble, I give it a full five bananas and highly recommend it to all zombie fans.
Which I am not, no really I am not a zombie fan….