Coming from writer/director Yeon Sang-Ho and Well Go USA Entertainment is the exciting second chapter of the highly successful zombie movie TRAIN TO BUSAN with PENINSULA.
As the zombie outbreak reaches a fever pitch in South Korea, Captain Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won) is making his way to a ship leaving the country. In the car are his sister, her husband and young nephew as that race to get to the ship on time. In the middle of the road, the Marine Captain sees a family who needs a ride, but he is spooked and ignores the pleas driving away.
Finding their place on the ship, Jung-seok looks for answers and steps away from the family for supplies. That is when the chaos he thought he left behind happens the other side of a bulkhead door. The only family member saved is brother-in-law Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon) as the rest take over the ship.
Four years has passed and Jung-seok is still having a difficult time with what happened on the ship. Now living in Hong Kong, he and Chul-min (and two others) are brought before a nefarious type who wants them to go back to Incheon and find a food truck that has $20 million dollars in it. Their reward is some of the loot.
Thinking this was an easy job and on their way back to the harbor to be picked up, they are attacked by Unit 631, a group of rogue survivors that have grouped into a militia. Jung-seok is knocked out of the truck and Chul-min is still inside as it drives away. Driving up is Joon (Lee Re) and sister Yu-jin (Lee Ye-won) and through some very fancy driving manage to get away from the undead.
They take Jung-seok to safety and he meets Mom Min-jung (Lee Jung-hyun) and grandfather Elder Kim (Kwon Hae-hyo) who share both food, rest and information. Chul-min is immediately found in the truck and taken captive. Captain Seo (Koo Kyo-hwan) also finds the money and wants to use it to get away from leader Hwang (Kim Min-jae) who doesn’t seem to lead the people these days.
Jung-seok wants to find his brother-in-law and will do whatever it takes to get him back. Joon wants to get her family out of Incheon and the only people stopping them are zombies and crazies. It becomes a race to see who will get the truck to the port and find freedom from the living and the dead!
Who really is the monster?
Dong-won takes the lead in the next chapter with PENINSULA and does not miss a beat. Starting out as a family man trying to save them from zombies, the aftermath is not only sad for his life but destructive. Returning to Incheon seemed like a way to get himself out of the darkness but instead puts him right back in it. I love watching Dong-won lead this cast on an insane ride through the film as Jung-seok still wants to do what is right and, in some way, make up for past regrets.
Do-yoon as Chul-min keeps his brother-in-law close as they try to remain a family but there is tension between the two. Once kidnapped, Chul-min discovers that perhaps he should have listened to someone who knew better but Jung-seok wasn’t about to leave the one person he still called ‘brother’ behind. Do-yoon’s character survives by the seat of his pants and I cheered him on.
Re as Joon is a strong and no-nonsense young woman who has the driving skills that had me jealous by the end of the film. She shares one thing with Jung-seok, the love of family and always puts them first. Re is a thrill to watch and gives the film the feminine toughness that does not outshine everyone else but instead melds with the other characters – but with a lead foot! Ye-won is a younger version of Joon and has a way with electronics that has kept the family alive for the last four years. She made me laugh more than once yet Ye-won gives her character a sweet gentleness in the midst of madness.
Min-jae as Hwang is a leader of a rag tag bunch of weapons carrying lunatics – and that’s being nice about it. It takes a lot to be a maniac leader and Min-jae gives it a creepiness as if the film needed anymore – excellent! Kyo-hwan as Captain Seo knows the leadership is waning and is more than happy to take over but when he sees the money, he also sees a chance to get away. Kyo-hwan wants to be the big man on top but life has other plans.
Other cast include Jang So-yeon as Sister, Kim Kyu-baek as Private Kim, Moon woo-jin as Dong-hwan, Daniel Albright as McClain and Bella Rahim as Major Jane.
Well Go USA Entertainment is a theatrical and home entertainment company specializing in bringing the best Action, Genre and Independent films from around the world to North American markets. As a leader in independent film distribution, Well Go USA Entertainment’s titles can be seen across a variety of platforms including theatrical, digital, subscription and cable VOD, packaged media and broadcast television. Well Go USA Entertainment currently releases three to five films per month. To see more please visit www.wellgousa.com.
PENINSULA is everything that I was hoping for and so very much more. A hug fan of TRAIN TO BUSAN, I was thrilled the day it was announced that there would be another chapter to the zombie saga. Six months before the film date was announced, I went into a giggle fit with anticipation.
This film takes action to another level from its predecessor on a train and gives zombies a little bit of a run around. That does not mean they do not get a meal now and then which is why we watch them in film in the first place right? The story is grave and heartbreaking, but we aren’t allowed to be melancholy long because bad guys are still alive and causing trouble.
Writer/director Yeon Sang-Ho, along with Joo-Suk Park, did not try to reinvent the dead wheel but instead grabbed it and lets it spin out of control and let us all go for the ride. Speeding around and coming in at 116 minutes, PENINSULA is everything I wanted and more so buckle up because it is going to be wild!
In the end – its four years later!