Speed dating movie characters
Following a motley crew on a bumpy ride from Seoul to Busan to escape a zombie outbreak, writer-director Yeon Sang-ho’s action-horror railroad movie “Train to Busan” pulses with relentless locomotive momentum.
Workaholic fund manager Seok-wu (Gong Yoo) takes his estranged young daughter Su-an (Kim Su-an) on the KTX high-speed train to Busan to visit his ex-wife.But his ability to incite the passengers into callous behavior is instrumental in illustrating how mob mentality works.Given the sheer velocity of the action, some emotional connection is needed to prevent the film from turning into sheer technical exercise.An extended sequence in which the driver tries to switch trains is choreographed with the utmost suspense.However, like most Korean blockbusters, the production cannot resist showing off its visual and special effects clout, resulting in a bombastic stunt toward the end that’s incongruous with the film’s lean, gritty style.It is up to Su-na, with her child’s innate decency, and the burly but dauntless Sang-hwa to undo the financial go-getting, cutthroat attitude, so he can learn that it is cooperation and altruism that ensures survival in a catastrophe.
Fans of Yeon’s edgier animations may miss his remorselessly evil characters, whose misogyny, sadism and dirt-filthy expletives exert repulsive fascination.
The first 15 minutes tease audiences with glimpses of zombie threat, like a shadow lunging spastically across the platform, or ominous news reports of riots in the capital.
Once the infected girl claims the first victim, however, the action surges ahead with exhilarating mayhem, abetted by the claustrophobic layout of train compartments.
(International sales: Contents Panda, Seoul.) Produced by Lee Dong-ha.
is a manga, anime, and OVA series by Shin Takahashi, creator of Iihito and Kimi no Kakera.
Music by Jang Young-gyu and sound effects by Choi Tae-young are both sparingly and effectively deployed for genuine shocks rather than false jolts. Camera (color, HD), Lee Hyung-deok; editor, Yang Jin-mo; music, Jang Young-gyu; production designer, Lee Mok-won; costume designer, Kwon Yoo-jin, Rim Seung-hee; sound, Choi Tae-young; special make-up, Kwak Tae-yong, Hwang Hyo-kyun; special effects, Demolition; visual effects supervisor, Jung Hwang-su; visual effects, Digital Idea.