Gong Yoo and his estranged daughter take an hour long trip to Busan and reconnect while fighting through a zombie apocalypse. That’s right, Drama Geek and I have gone to the movies and are all ready to chat about the intense thriller Train to Busan.
KMUSE: I am so excited that we are back to doing our Kmovie reviews. Drama Geek and I had made plans to review every Korean film that came to town and then the theater began five months of remodeling. This meant that half of the movie theater was shut down and only the biggest blockbusters were shown. Sadly, not Korean blockbusters. But now the remodeling is done (the comfy new living room seating was mightily appreciated) and our films are back so WOOT!
Seok Woo, his estranged daughter, Soo An, and other passengers become trapped on a KTX train (high-speed train) heading from Seoul to Busan during a disastrous virus outbreak in South Korea.
Gong Yoo – Seok Woo
Ma Dong Seok – Sang Hwa
Jung Yu Mi -Sung Kyeong
Choi Woo Shik – Yeong Guk
Kim Soo An – Soo An
So Hee – Jin Hee
Train to Busan Trailer:
WARNING: Movie Spoilers Ahead
KMUSE: I loved how effective the old school directing was. They didn’t overwhelm us with tons of CGI and elaborate zombie costumes but instead focused on a lot of clever camera angles, intense story lines, and good acting to tell the story. I have actually been missing this style of filming in a lot of the US blockbusters. I wish that this director could give a seminar to others about how CGI does not automatically mean better when creating a mood.
Drama Geek: I have to agree with Kmuse. They used the CGI sparingly, but still managed to make me gag a little and scream my silent heart out when the zombies appeared. Most of this takes place on a train. Yeah, close quarters equals zombies on top of you. It also equals great use of lighting and tight camera angles to create the perfect mood. It made you want to jump out of your comfy seat and run for the hills because you felt claustrophobic.
KMUSE: I will be honest…. I am not a huge horror movie fan. This is the first zombie movie I have watched except for Shaun of the Dead (Comedy zombies are about my speed.) So I don’t have a ton of stuff to compare it to. However, it kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I loved all three leading men (although Ma Dong Seok stole the show in my opinion) and the little girl gave such a heart-wrenching performance. I laughed, I gasped (no all-out screams, but I did jump now and then) and I even cried in two different scenes. All in all a very successful movie.
Drama Geek: As far as zombie movie plots go it was pretty good. I mean, it wasn’t deep, but the main guy did have some definite character development and they even managed to sneak in some bromance. The daughter was sad and seemed to hold a depth within her that only kids who’ve grown up outside that protective bubble we parents hope to create can. The relationship between them and later the married couple was the emotional anchor to the movie.
Random Character Observations:
KMUSE: Gong Yoo did a good job but nothing beyond what I have seen from him in the past. I literally could not watch Choi Woo Shik and not automatically think “Ho Goo fights zombies.” Makes me worried that I will never be able to separate him from his Ho Goo persona. Ma Don Seok is quickly becoming one of my favorite Korean actors. I would even say he might be on my Top 20 bias actor list. I love him in everything I have watched and this was no different. Don Seok’s dry sense of humor and ability to be totally kick ass makes any show better.
Drama Geek: I have to say Gong Yoo didn’t really impress me in this. He didn’t do a bad job, and I’d even say he played the character that was written. I just don’t think he was memorable. Choi Woo Shik also did an adorably adequate job. Ma Don Seok and his wife, played by Jung Yu Mi, brought the only laughs to be had and also made me feel the most. Let’s be real here. You’re on a train, it’s the zombie apocalypse. You have 3 choices. (1) Uptight business man who, to be fair, is freaking gorgeous. (2) Ho Goo with a bat. (3) The guy below. You’re going to choose handsome, tough as nails, Don Seok every time. He doesn’t have a weapon because he is the weapon. He also is hilarious and damn sweet when he needs to be.
My Overall Review:
KMUSE: I would highly recommend this movie. That said, I would 100% put a zombie apocalypses trigger warning if you plan to see it. This film was freaky intense and it took me a while before the image of zombies smacking glass left my poor traumatized brain.
Drama Geek: It really is a thrilling ride and worth the view. It did its job keeping you on the edge of your seat and wondering who’d be next. I think that’s one thing people love about zombie movies or shows. They usually induce that fight or flight part of your brain. You kind of hope you’re the fighter when the apocalypse happens but… you might have to face the fact that you’ll be running for your life.
We hope to be bringing you more movie reviews in the future. Hopefully from the comfy seats of our newly renovated theater!
See you next time,
KMUSE & DRAMA GEEK