Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (3 stars)

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

Sequel to the South Korean horror smash delivers thrills but feels more derivative

Screeching onto cinema and soon small screens comes the follow-up to super-charged South Korean breakout horror Train to Busan, with cars and trucks driving the action this time round, as they flee or plough down those ravenous-as-ever zombies. Yeon Sang-ho returns as director for a Mad Max-emulating dystopian adventure that doesn't reach the horrible heights of the original but should pass the time excitingly.

The sequel is set in the same zombie-plagued world as the first film but follows a new story; Gang Dong-won plays marine captain Jung-seok who shows he's capable of making soul-destroying decisions when he's faced with a couple of shockers at the outset. Four years later, we meet him as a refugee in Hong Kong as he's about to head back into a now-eerily-abandoned South Korea, docking at the derelict Incheon port with a team whose mission is to retrieve $20million from an abandoned food truck.

Peninsula unfolds at night when zombies are said to be blind. But it's other humans Jung-seok really needs to fear, especially a rogue army unit who were originally dispatched to help citizens but have carved out a lawless existence under the ostensible rule of chief weasel Captain Seo (Koo Gyo-hwan), with the more noticeably nasty Sergeant Hwang (Kim Min-jae) emerging as his dangerous rival. Luckily, there are allies too: a mother, Min-jung (Lee Jung-hyun), her two daughters (Lee Re and Lee Ye-won) and their elderly ex-military grandfather (Kwon Hae-hyo), with enough skills between them to have survived this long.

There's an appealing sheen to the after-dark carnage but the narrative is too derivative-feeling this time round, with some fairly awful early-doors exposition and a general lack of ingenuity and surprises. The everything-but-the-kitchen-sink ending is patience-testing, too, but mainly it's slick, suitably storming entertainment, and its undead throngs bring their own kind of bite.

Available to watch in selected cinemas from Fri 6 Nov, on digital download from Mon 23 Nov, and on all formats from Mon 30 Nov. See more information on screenings and home entertainment options.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

  • 3 stars
  • 2020
  • South Korea
  • 1h 56min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Yeon Sang-ho
  • Cast: Gang Dong-won, Lee Jung-hyun, Lee Re