The promise of twenty million dollars in cash is what it takes to convince a motley crew of Korean refugees to return to their zombie-infested homeland in Peninsula, writer-director Yeon Sang-ho’s follow-up to his cult horror hit, Train to Busan. Set four years after the events of the first film, Peninsula sees new, all-action hero Marine Captain Jung-Seok (Gang Dong-won) head home at the behest of a shady Hong Kong gangsters.
Joined by brother-in brother-in-law Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon) and a couple of other unlucky recruits, Jung-Seok leads a team into the Korean city of Incheon in search of a truck loaded with American currency. Things are running smoothly for all of five minutes when the group is ambushed, first by zombies, and then by a paramilitary group calling themselves Unit 631.
While Chul-min (along with the truck full of money) is captured by Unit 631 bruisers, Jung-Seok finds himself rescued by a pair of children. Sisters Jooni (Lee Re) and Yu-jin (Lee Ye-won) utilise expert driving skills and a number of well-honed zombie management techniques to whisk him from danger and to the well-fortified home they share with their mother and grandfather.
more than enough of a sense of fun to satisfy your average zombie enthusiast.
We’re told early on that the undead are nearly blind at night and the film gets a lot of mileage out of the idea as the infected are constantly interrupted, distracted and redirected by flares, headlamps and even a modified remote control car. It is an addition to the standard zombie lore that allows the action a new dimension as Jung-Seok mounts a rescue mission alongside his newfound friends.
Train to Busan was a slick, propulsive affair with memorable characters and well thought out set pieces. In expanding the world, Yeon can’t quite recapture the momentum that made his original film so special. But Peninsula is still a worthwhile endeavour. From the addition of Unit 631 and their penchant for gladiatorial combat, to Jooni’s frightening ability behind the wheel, the director’s new film has more than enough of a sense of fun to satisfy your average zombie enthusiast.