Peninsula (2020) first reviews and overview

 
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[Total: 7   Average: 3.4/5]

‘4 years later…’

Peninsula is a 2020 South Korean science-fiction horror feature film and the sequel to the zombie pandemic classic Train to Busan (2016).

Like Train to Busan, the movie is also directed by Yeon Sang-ho from a screenplay co-written with Joo-Suk Park. The movie stars Dong-won Gang and Jung-Hyun Lee.

Plot:

Four years after South Korea’s total decimation in Train to Busan, Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won), 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 Jung-seok’s team unexpectedly stumbles upon survivors, their lives will depend on whether the best—or worst—of human nature prevails in the direst of circumstances…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

Peninsula doesn’t reach the visceral heights of its predecessor but it’s never dull. It hits the marks where it’s supposed to, except in the final stretch where the human drama gets in the way of a satisfying wrap-up. I won’t go into details about the scene; it’s just that the exasperating scene goes on and on and it’ll make you scream… but for all the wrong reasons.” 8 Days

“Although Peninsula is marketed as a zombie film, I saw it more as a dystopian drama, especially with the current context of Covid-19. It was frightening to see the characters as refugees, with no place, no country to call their own […] As Jung-suk meets a diverse range of characters, we begin to question the distinction between humans and zombies. The society that exists in Peninsula is true chaos, and the humans are not better people for it.” Korean JoonAng Daily

” ..by changing gears, Peninsula surrenders the emotional depth of its predecessor along the way. Gang’s tormented, guilt-ridden protagonist and Gong Yoo’s divorced workaholic dad have similar redemption arcs, with young kids thrown into the fray again. But there are hardly any gut-wrenching sacrifices made this time, and instead, many instances of sheer stupidity that may make you shout.” The New Paper

” …much like Train to Busan, Yeon’s plot is deliberately straightforward, allowing viewers to focus on the jaw-dropping set-pieces that propel it. These include an extraordinary car chase as Yeon goes full-throttle on the Seoul roads in a way that’s reminiscent of sequences from Mad Max: Fury Road […] Instead of striving for realism, Peninsula’s night-time aesthetic is grittier than Train to Busan and more like [Yeon Sang-ho’s] acclaimed animations The King of Pigs, The Fake and Seoul Station.” Screen Daily

” …returning director Yeon Sang-ho cranks up the dramatic music and lighting (such as it is, since this one takes place mostly at night). I’m actually a little disappointed that Yeon emphasises the action and carnage so much that all the other things which made Train To Busan great are either absent or so contrived that they do not ring true.” The Star

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