“Peninsula” Lacks Soul Compared to Prequel “Train to Busan”jessie tan
A heated discussion is underway just five days after the premiere of Peninsula, the long-awaited sequel to South Korean box office hit Train to Busan. Many who praised the new film’s superior computer graphics and powerful action scenes consider it one of the best zombie flicks in recent years alongside its prequel. However, viewers could not help but point out that the first installment was better and more emotionally intense. While Peninsula had higher quality in all aspects of the production, the movie lacked soul, and viewers had difficulty relating to the story.
Peninsula tells the story of life four years after the zombie apocalypse that occurred in Train to Busan. Jung Seok (played by Kang Dong Won), a former soldier who managed to escape overseas, is ordered on an irrefutable mission to return to the suffering Korean Peninsula and safely transport a truck full of money. Despite being armed with a team, Jung Seok faces trouble when members of the Army Unit 631 militia turn into zombies and team up with another hoard of zombies to ambush him. During this wild and frenzied attack, survivor Min Jung and her family swiftly enter to help him out. Together, they scavenge their last chances and race against time to escape the ruined Peninsula.
Since the movie is a sequel to the award-winning Train to Busan, the production team wanted it to live up to the success of its predecessor. From the lighting to the set design and action scenes, it is apparent that a huge budget and resources were allocated to improve the film in every way possible. Yet, the focus on persistence in Peninsula failed to evoke viewers’ empathy and emotions, unlike the focal theme of humanity in Train to Busan.
In the first installment, the main characters worked together to survive despite being strangers. The story provoked the audience to reflect on the meaning of humanity through the mechanics of greed and sacrifice. However, this theme was not embedded in its sequel. Instead, Peninsula revolved around money and the desire for a better life. Although viewers understood the reasoning behind possessing such desires, they still found it disappointing because it felt too materialistic and less humane.
Source: Yahoo News