Thursday, January 26, 2017

Short Attention Span Review: Train to Busan (2016)

Short Attention Span Review: Train to Busan (2016)

Wow!  I had heard good things about Train to Busan, so when I sat down to watch it I was expecting big things of this landmark zombie thriller from Korea.  These lofty expectations were appropriate--I can honestly say that I was totally blown away by this fast-paced rampage.  In what may or may not have been a nod to Romero, the picture was ripe with social commentary, and it was also host to some well-drawn characters with emotional arcs, but this never kept it from racing down the tracks.  Gory, exciting, intense, and moving, Train to Busan is easily one of the finest zombie movies that I have ever enjoyed, and that's one hell of a statement coming from yours truly.  Director Sang-ho Yeon did a marvelous job of keeping things popping while telling a story with an awful lot of heart to go along with all the blood and guts splattering the screen.  The cast performed flawlessly, and while there were a few cliches in the mix, everyone had a lot to do and I felt that each performer made the most of their opportunities to shine.  Leading man Yoo Gong nailed it, and young Soo-an Kim did a remarkable job in a demanding part with a lot of depth and nuance.   Yet it was Dong-seok Ma who stole the show, combining grit and warmth to tremendous effect.  Eui-sung Kim gave us a horror movie dickhead for the ages, and eagerly anticipating his demise greatly bolstered my viewing experience.  In closing, I found Train to Busan to be thoroughly effective on every level, and it is not only my favorite horror film from 2016, but I will reiterate that it has to be one of the best zombie films out there.

Final Grade: A+

While Train to Busan succeeds on many fronts, in the end it is the well-drawn characters who propel it to greatness.

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