Martial law is declared when a mysterious viral outbreak pushes Korea into a state of emergency. Those on an express train to Busan, a city that has successfully fended off the viral outbreak, must fight for their own survival…
A week ago I saw a zombie film from Japan called 'I Am a Hero' and now this Korean. I have not seen a quality zombie film at the recent time. The second tier films like 'Cooties', 'Freaks of Nature', 'Scouts Guide...', all these were comedies. Probably 'World War Z' was the last decent zombie film I have seen and after that this is the one. So the timing of the film was another advantage. Since there's no competition, this zombie film rules. And not to forget the Korean style, they are among the best thriller film makers today.
Directed by an Anime filmmaker, this is his first live-action film. When I decided to watch it, I thought it would be another Korean film, which rely on father-daughter sentiments. You know I kind of tired of that Korean cliché where at the final stage they let the kid sob and call it a twist. Initially I enjoyed those and later on getting bored of that. With that kind of reasons, I would have missed it. Being a film fanatic, I won't mind to risk a watch, except give up writing a review for it.
But in this case, it was completely different. Even the characters, any characters in the film, either in the lead or the supporting ones, all are unpredictable. That's the biggest plus point of the film. At the end you won't be sure, who you were rooting for. You know in those edgy scenes, we blindly back the one we like. You will think you can guess the upcoming scenes, but the writing was very smartly done. Feels like they did not care about a sequel, if this meets a greater success. But who knows, this is a cinema and there were many mysteries kept unsolved, so they can pick up from one of those loops.
> "Whatever you do, you must finish what you start. It's worse than not doing it at all."
This is the story of a divorced, workaholic father and his young daughter. After the progress, many others join them. On her birthday, they decide to visit her mother in Busan. On their train, soon after it took off, they come to know that something is wrong around. With all the chaos unrolling rapidly, a group of survivours gathers in a car since there's no escape as they are trapped in a moving train. How their journey ends, whether they reach a safe place with the fight against the living dead, the narration comes to halt.
In the contest of good versus evil, there's no place for sentiments. But at one stage, near the end they cleared the place to attach one. In that final scene you can't resist, even if you are not an emotional person when it comes to the film. As I mentioned earlier that is the part I feared the most would come, but i did not hate it in the context of story development. Because that was a perfect setting to take the story to the next level.
There are several twists. Those are from the film characters' perspective than the story wise. They did not bother to tell about the cause of the epidemic. Instead, this film was focused on the train passengers and their fight for survival when the defending options are limited. Just imagine it is a zombie version of another Korean film 'Snowpiercer' or like 'Snakes on a Plane'.
I have heard there's another film, an animation which is also directed by the same filmmaker and said to be a prequel to this one. If you had liked it, you would be itching to watch that one as well. Hope I would watch it as soon as I get an opportunity. So, my view on it, the film is very good. It was close to two hours long, but once the train journey begins, you won't going to notice the time. I am saying the pace of the film, as well as the events make you dissolve in it completely and forget everything else. This is the best zombie film right now and you should not miss it, especially if you like this theme. Recommended!