Translated by Kim Hoyeun
This summer’s most anticipated film, Peninsula, finally meets the audience.
Movie Peninsula is set four years after Train to Busan, where an unprecedented disaster swept the entire country. It depicts the struggles of the survivors fighting against more powerful zombies to escape the peninsula, completely isolated from the outside world.
How Was It Compared to Train to Busan?
Editor Yang Young Jun: You should not watch the movie expecting Train to Busan. Except for the fact that they share the same worldview, the two films have entirely different charms. If Train to Busan depicted “the fear and confusion of men facing zombies for the first time,” Peninsula emphasized “conflict between humans.”
Editor Kim Won Hee: Personally, I liked Train to Busan, which gave birth to K-Zombies, better. Peninsula showed a bigger scale and expended the scene to the entire peninsula, but it seems like it has lost the genre-specific fun.
Editor Hong Hyun Jung: It shared the same worldview as Train to Busan, but it’s more like a supplementary story highlighting the action scenes. This also means that it is hard to find the charms of Train to Busan. The devastated landscape of downtown Seoul is undoubtedly impressive. Still, the scenes of fighting overpowering zombies with guns instead of bare hands (which we have seen often before) have tarnished its unique personality.
I Love This Part
Editor Yang Young Jun: Zombies’ presence has been upgraded for sure. Although it’s regrettable that their proportions have decreased, but K-Zombie’s unique “dance-like movements” are even more outstanding. The car chase scenes are magnificent enough to be named the top two in Korean films along with Asura: The City of Madness, and the post-apocalypse images are well portrayed.
Editor Kim Won Hee: The action scenes stand out. The spectacular gun action is also awesome, and the car-chasing scene in the heart of Seoul is impressive. The flashy car chase where the character goes full throttle on zombies will remind you of Baby Driver and Mad Max: Fury Road.
Editor Hong Hyun Jung: The eyes are certainly pleasant. The amount of car-chasing scenes is more extensive than expected, and the speedy and skillful directions are excellent. Maybe it’s because of the director’s ample experiences in producing animations.
This Part Could Have Been Better
Editor Yang Young Jun: Zombies’ performances have been halved. Instead of intensifying the tension by creating the fear, zombies don’t even appear in the key moments. Sometimes, they act so stupid that they ended up hindering the level of immersion. It is also regrettable that the story of the middle part has been dragged on.
Editor Kim Won Hee: Although there is a scene where zombies pour out, they seem to be used as a secondary element. Naturally, it feels like the movie highlights confrontations of those left in the peninsula, rather than a war against zombies.
Editor Hong Hyun Jung: It’s a shame that the movie tries to deliver the message so openly. It seeks to present a hopeful vision by showing the primitive desires of humans that are scarier than zombies, but the process becomes apparent as it implements obvious family stories. Also, the concentration that had been galloping with pleasure shatters at the last minute.
What About the Characters?
Editor Yang Young Jun: Joon Yi (Lee Re), Yoo Jin (Lee Ye Won), Captain Seo (Gu Kyo Hwan), and Sergeant first class Hwang (Kim Min Jae) are attractive, but rather, the main characters Jung Seok (Kang Dong Won) and Min Jung (Lee Jung Hyun) are less appealing. Apart from the actor’s acting, the characters feel a bit obvious. What I enjoyed the most is Min Jung’s choice at the end that broke the cliche.
Editor Kim Won Hee: As the scale expanded, more novel characters appear. But strangely, each character’s color seems lighter than expected. While Joon Yi and Yoo Jin stand out with their colorful performances, Captian Seo, who was expected to be an absolute villain, seems to fall short of expectations.
Editor Hong Hyun Jung: The actors’ performances are good. But the holes in the narrative prevent the characters’ unique personalities from being clearly highlighted. However, the performances of female characters who lead the action are quite satisfying.
Is there a future for K-Zombies?
Editor Yang Young Jun: The future of K-Zombies is bright. Although they might not have appeared that often, more attractive zombies were born, and it will surely affect the future projects.
Editor Kim Won Hee: Through several works, K-Zombies have been clothed with a distinct characteristic of running fast in a dance-like movement. Now that K-Zombies are complete, I think it’s time to use them well in the genre.
Editor Hong Hyun Jung: Since Train to Busan, the works that featured zombies or creatures criticized the corruption of the power. But Peninsula expands its boundaries and heads toward refugee issues. It’s a pity that it couldn’t go deeper into the subject, but I will read it as an attempt to avoid self-replication.
Editor Yang Young Jun: Mad Max: Zombies’ Road (3/5)
Editor Kim Won Hee: A car-chasing action film disguised as a zombie film (3/5)
Editor Hong Hyun Jung: This is the real “K” zombie (3/5)