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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from Train to Busan (2016)

Train to Busan

2016 | South Korea | 118 min
aka:
  • Busanhaeng
  • Watched on Mon Mar 8, 2021 via Amazon
    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)

    A good zombie movie leaden with heavy-handed melodrama.

    The story follows the titular train departing from Seoul. A wounded woman sneaks aboard, transitions to a zombie, and attacks a train employee. The employee transforms and attacks a passenger. The passenger transforms and attacks another passenger. In minutes, zombies overrun the speeding train, leaving just a handful of survivors.

    There’s a lot to like. The constrained setting proves ripe for exploitation, and the film delivers several thrilling set-pieces. The zombies work in packs, growling and spasming like a feral hive-mind. Their sheer numbers elicit shocking visuals. And the cast shines. The good guys exude charisma and the head baddie proves almost comically despicable.

    But about that melodrama. Too often, I resented the film’s incessant use of slow motion and swelling music to force emotions. With a cast this good, it’s patronizing. Good tacticians don’t telegraph their punches.

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