I tend to watch movies from different countries with English subtitles. Till date I have watched movies from approximately 17 different languages with 8 of them of them being the languages I watch movies regularly.
One country's movie that I watch movies from regularly is South Korean, horror/ thriller/ action genre movies. One movie that has become my favourite in the zombie action thriller genre is Train to Busan. Made on a budget of $8.5 million, the movie went to generate over ten times its budget reaching almost $100 million dollars.
Starring Gong Yoo and Ma Dong-seok, the movie is about a fund manager who is stuck on a train with his daughter which is infested with zombies. Most of the film is confined to the train and how the father reaches his daughter from one end of the train towards the other.
Train to Busan is clearly unique in the genre of Zombie movie, as it pays more attention on the survival of the father and daughter rather than how the zombie apocalypse started. The fact that most of the movie is shot on a moving train, it gives a more claustrophobic feeling which makes the audience anxious as the movie moves forward. The website's critical consensus states: "Train to Busan delivers a thrillingly unique – and purely entertaining – take on the zombie genre, with fully realized characters and plenty of social commentary to underscore the bursts of skillfully staged action."
The movie has been critically acclaimed as receiving a 95% on rotten tomato’s based on 95 reviews and an average rating of 7.6/10.
The movies protagonist is an unapologetic narcissist who does not care about anyone else apart for himself, until he finally realises his responsibility to his daughter. The movie is packed with different characters portrayed brilliantly by the actors.
One memorable character is none other its ‘villain’ portrayed Kim Eui-Sang. With his brilliant acting skills, the actor generates nothing but contempt and hate towards himself in his portrayal of a selfish and manipulative man as he turns other passengers against one other and pushes them towards danger to save himself. The actor also clearly demonstrates the character’s vulnerability and fear as he tries to survive something he never expected or could survive if he was not shrewd enough.
Another character that was a favourite of the audience, well mine and my drunk flatmates, after forcing them to watch the movie, one of whom had never seen a movie that was not English. All concluded that Sang- Hwa portrayed by Ma Dong Seok was the hero and best character of the whole movie. With a muscled and hard man exterior, the actor shows the gentler and the protective nature of the character as he not only protects himself but the daughter of the main lead. Taking the lead in the fight against the zombies he is the hero of the movie even though he is not the lead actor.
The movie has everything that a zombie genre should have, it has the fast pace intensity, character played remarkably by actors who do justice to their characters. Over the top action that does not look too much out of place. Unlike most genre movies spoiler alert, most of the characters do not survive which makes the movie although fiction more plausible.
The commercial and critical success of the movie has led the movie director Yeon Sang-Ho to start working on a sequal with the Korean title bando