PENINSULA is a zombie movie from South Korea. It’s a sequel to the mega-hit Train to Busan and takes place four years later. This time, the vibe is almost reminiscent of Mad Max: Fury Road. Read our full Peninsula review here!
PENINSULA is the much-anticipated sequel to Train to Busan. Yes, the mega-hit from South Korea where zombies move extremely fast, and the plot played out mostly on a train. For this reason alone, it was often referred to as a Snowpiercer meets World War Z hybrid.
Recommended reading: Our review of the Train to Busan zombie movie >
The story is very different in this sequel which takes place four years after the events of the first movie. Continue reading our Peninsula movie review below.
Mad Max meets World War Z
Yes, once again it’s easy to compare the style of the movie to other movies. The zombies are still quick to transform and move with extreme speed. However, this time around and the vibe is almost reminiscent of Mad Max: Fury Road.
Mostly because we’re now four years after the zombie apocalypse that took place in the first movie. Or actually, the movie begins exactly where Train to Busan left off. We meet some people that managed to escape from South Korea and it turns out the zombie outbreak was contained in this country.
That means the Korean Peninsula has zombies but the rest of the world is still okay. And it also means that people are still trapped in South Korea with the zombies. That’s why South Korea has quickly turned into a “survival of the fittest”-place that looks eerily like the world of Mad Max.
All-too believable international reactions
Witnessing how South Korea is left to its own devices, Peninsula might seem harsh and not very credible. If you feel that way, then I’m sorry to say that you must not have been paying attention. Terrible tragedies happen all the time and if there is no reason to get involved (i.e. due to oil) or if it’s dangerous to get involved, then international society simply won’t.
Sure, there are organizations that step up, but no actual international response. That’s exactly what happens in Peninsula. Also, it’s very believable that those who do manage to escape are not exactly met with open arms. A harsh reminder that humans are rarely humane in their behavior.
Overall, Peninsula does, however, suffer from trying to please international audiences. Instead of the no-nonsense style of South Korean filmmaking where no one is ever safe and anyone could die at any given moment, this movie is quite Americanized.
Something that becomes grotesquely obvious toward the ending (which you will have guessed way in advance). Also, the “mood-setting” music – which I almost refuse to call a score – is just crazy. If you’re ever in doubt about how you’re supposed to be feeling, the music will tell you.
Check out Peninsula as soon as you can!
While you will probably guess much of the plot in Peninsula, you’ll still want to experience it for yourself. In other words, try to avoid spoilers and just watch it as soon as you can. Preferably in a movie theater, but if this isn’t possible, then focus on making an event out of watching it at home.
Also, I’d re-watch (or just watch) Train to Busan before watching this sequel. Yeon Sang-ho is the director and writer of both movies. It just feels like this sequel has to please more viewers and this does not make it better.
Still, I must admit that the effects are great and the action scenes are extremely well executed. Just prepare for those other scenes as well. You know, the kind that will make you sigh and roll your eyes. Yes, they are (too big) a part of Peninsula as well.
Any fan of Train to Busan should enjoy much of this movie – and can endure the rest!
Peninsula is set to be released in the US on August 21, 2020. It’s already out in Canada as well as many other countries worldwide.
Director: Yeon Sang-ho
Cast: Kang Dong Won, Lee Jung Hyun, Lee Re, Kwon Hae Hyo, Kim Min Jae, Goo Kyo Hwan
Four years after South Korea’s total decimation in TRAIN TO BUSAN, the zombie thriller that captivated audiences worldwide, acclaimed director Yeon Sang-ho brings us PENINSULA, the next nail-biting chapter in his post-apocalyptic world. Jung-seok, a soldier who previously escaped the diseased wasteland, relives the horror when assigned to a covert operation with two simple objectives: retrieve and survive. When his team unexpectedly stumbles upon survivors, their lives will depend on whether the best—or worst—of human nature prevails in the direst of circumstances.