Horror Movie Review: Peninsula (2020)

Peninsula (marketed in the United States as Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula) is a 2020 South Korean action horror film directed by Yeon Sang-ho. It is a standalone sequel to the 2016 film Train to Busan.

Marine Captain Jung-seok is driving his elder sister, her husband Chul-min and his nephew Dong-hwan to a ship leaving South Korea, which is being swept by a zombie outbreak. On the way, he encounters a family with a young child who needs a hitch, but he ignores the family’s pleas and drives away. In the cabin of the ship, an infected man turns into a zombie and infects numerous people, including Dong-hwan. Jung-seok then unwillingly decides to leave Dong-hwan and his mother behind and stops Chul-min, who returns after getting some supplies, from entering the cabin.

Four years later in Hong Kong, a guilt-ridden Jung-seok, with Chul-min and two other Koreans, are briefed by the Hongkongers of an operation that requires the four to return to Incheon in the quarantined peninsula and retrieve an abandoned food truck which contains bags of cash totaling US$20 million. The four arrive the following night and after some searching, they find the truck. The four escape the area unharmed with the truck, as zombies begin chasing them.

On the way back to Incheon Port, the four are ambushed by a rogue militia Unit 631, led by Sergeant first class Hwang. Jung-seok gets thrown out of the truck, while Chul-min hides inside the truck. The other two die from the ambush. Jung-seok is then rescued by two sisters: Joon, who drives the car out of the scene, and her younger sister Yu-jin. The three arrive at a hideout, where the children live with their mother Min-jung and grandfather Elder Kim. Jung-seok suddenly realises that Min-jung is the lady that had asked for a hitch four years ago.

Do they still have any hope of getting the money and escaping? Watch and find out.

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If you liked Train to Busan but thought damn, I wish Michael Bay had directed this movie then Peninsula is the perfect movie for you. It has everything Train to Busan didn’t have, large explosions, unrealistic car stunts and 100x more zombies relentlessly and unrealistically chasing you down. In all seriousness though, these are just some of the things that make Peninsula a lesser movie. Unfortunately, they westernized this sequel and lost the heart and soul of the original that captured us all to begin with.

How you could go from such a simple concept of a small group of survivors with a little girl and her father at the centre, to this, I have no idea. Peninsula felt like several films all in one, and although I enjoyed the villain, I didn’t think he was necessary. The villain should be, of course, the flipping zombies! But their credibility was damaged in this movie.

I have to go back to the car stunts and elaborate on that. I don’t even know where to start to be honest… it was like watching a video game. This girl in an apocalyptic city was literally a superhero and her car was indestructible – the wing mirrors didn’t even come off! It made you unable to feel much emotion for these characters because unlike in the first, these characters just feel superhuman and untouchable.

There is a small amount of positives, I promise but my last negative is I hated the inclusion of the English language. It was so unnecessary and forced. It served no purpose and just added to the westernization.

Okay so positives. I did enjoy the story, it made sense from beginning to end. I liked the soldier side storyline, but that could have been its own film, as I said the real villain of the movie already existed with the unending hordes of hunger and death incarnate running around the place.

Overall, Peninsula is a shallow soulless sequel with horrible CGI. It had some enjoyable moments and potential but just doesn’t reach it. Disappointed is the word for this movie, stick to the original.




Peninsula
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