Peninsula (2020) Movie Review
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Yeon Sang-ho
Producer: Lee Dong-ha
Writers: Park Joo-Suk, Yeon Sang-ho
Date Released: August 7, 2020 (USA)
Gang Dong-won as Jung-Seok
Lee Jung-hyun as Min-jung
Kwon Hae-hyo as Elder Kim
Kim Min-jae as Sergeant Hwang
Koo Kyo-hwan as Captain Seo
Kim Do-yoon as Chul-min
Lee Re as Jooni
Lee Ye-won as Yu-jin
Jang So-yeon as Jung-Seok’s elder sister
Moon Woo-jin as Dong-hwan
Kim Kyu-baek as Private Kim
Bella Rahim as Major Jane
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Peninsula (2020) picks up during the zombie outbreak from the first film. Jung-Seok (Gang Dong-won) is driving his sister’s family to a ship to escape a zombie outbreak in South Korea when he encounters a family asking for a ride. Believing that the father of the family is infected, Jung-Seok keeps driving. While in the cabin of the ship, an undead stowaway infects many people onboard – including Jung-Seok’s nephew, Dong-hwan (Moon Woo-jin). Dong-hwan’s mother refuses to leave him – causing her to become infected as well. This forces Jung-Seok to stop everyone, including Dong-hwan’s father Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon), from going to the cabin. Four years later, Jung-Seok and Chul-min are recruited for a mission with two other Koreans to head to the quarantined peninsula and retrieve 20 million dollars in a truck. The team arrives and encounters zombies as the story truly begins. Jung-Seok also meets Min-jung (Lee Jung-hyun) and realizes she is the woman who asked for his help four years ago.
We all know how zombies look like: decomposed skin, sagging faces, and bloody bodies. That being said, it’s no surprise that Peninsula has quite a number of gory and bloody images. One of the most notable gory scenes would be the part where prisoners take part in a survival game with several zombies. Overall, I would say that Peninsula is moderately gory and quite tolerable as it focuses more on the element of action.
The Grave Review
Korean zombie movies never fail to execute the look of zombies properly and realistically. The zombies in this movie are definitely creepy, which is one factor we always look for in zombie films. When it comes to the excitement and adrenaline rush, however, Peninsula is far less exciting than its predecessor, Train to Busan (2016).
When I watched the first film in 2016, I remember being on the edge of my seat and screaming in fear and excitement. However, with Peninsula, I didn’t even feel half of the excitement that I felt before. At the beginning of this movie, we see an infected stowaway who gives the impression that this movie will once again be extremely thrilling but, alas, we thought wrong. It’s not that this movie isn’t exciting though – it’s just that the first film set the bar too high that this left me quite disappointed. To put it simply, Peninsula did not live up to Train to Busan.
There are still some parts and elements in Peninsula that are worth the praise. I would say that this film is more story-focused, which probably explains why we didn’t see a lot of scenes that prompt an adrenaline rush. More than this, the part where Jung-Seok once again meets the woman he encountered four years ago is a notable element in the story – something that gives the plot more meaning. The scene where the prisoners are in a survival game with zombies is also worth mentioning as it significantly shows how a society could turn selfish and merciless when faced with a predicament such as a zombie outbreak.
One good way to enjoy Peninsula (2020) to its fullest is to avoid comparing it with Train to Busan. However, since this movie is a sequel to the 2016 movie, one can’t help but compare and see how the first movie is definitely more exciting than this. With my experience in watching Peninsula, I wouldn’t want a third movie. Maybe a new movie with a whole different story would be the best choice.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Peninsula (2020) two graves out of five graves.
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