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Movie Review | PENINSULA : Keeps eating on the cult Busan and leaves nothing to chew

Critic Review
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PENINSULA also known as Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula movie review is here. The 2020 South Korean action-horror film directed by Yeon Sang-ho is a standalone sequel to the 2016 cult zombie horror TRAIN TO BUSAN. Peninsula was chosen to be shown in the Official Selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film was shown in the panorama section of 25th Busan International Film Festival on October 21, 2020. Peninsula has released in India today – November 27, 2020.

PENINSULA movie review

Can the same gold glitter twice? No doubt Yeon Sang-ho is an exceptional talent. A gifted filmmaker with that rare calibre of having his own language but sometimes you are trapped by your own school of thoughts resulting in a creative ‘lockdown’.

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Here Yeon Sang-ho in his over ambition and eagerness to churn a global franchise eats on his own 2016 cult TRAIN TO BUSAN and adds a heist kind of a saga to PENINSULA which turns out to be just a CGI controlled zombie romp that is nothing but a boring pale escapisms without any opium of hope.

So we have Captain Jung-Seok (Gang Dong-won) trying to escape from virus-infected South Korea, Captain Jung – Seok is trying to take his entire family out from South Korea. The infection catches someone in the ship and its sheer devastation a complete disaster where all the attempts of Captain Jung – Seok to save his family fail miserably.

Now four years later, Jung-Seok gets a surreal offer to go back to South Korea with a team and bring a truck loaded with US 20 million dollars.

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The place is still full of virus-infected zombies who get activated by light and what happens next?

Comparison of PENINSULA with TRAIN TO BUSAN is bound to happen when the makers themselves insist on having the name of the cult in its title to cash on it. It’s a pure marketing ploy that hardly serves the purpose and the writer Park Joo-Suk and director Yeon Sang-ho are so obsessed with their 2016 cult that they turn this standalone sequel into so shockingly formulaic, if this was made by a debutant then would have appreciated the calibre of the new bee for maintaining the atmosphere and staying loyal to the feel.

But here in his home ground Yeon Sang-ho disappoints heavily by doing those plain routines that are overwhelmingly dependent on those CGI-overloaded actions that go on and on and on in this Korean peninsula, which is now under this zombie plague and in permanent lockdown. Not a good feeling at all, considering the time we are in due to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

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Still PENINSULA showcases that rare flair of Yeon Sang-ho’s vision with those ochre-lit vistas of the shattered city but only when it’s still. Rest is more of a video game on display by a zombie freak teen.

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