Train to Busan (2016)

Hypothetical Netflix Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Remember that movie, Snakes on a Plane, where there were snakes on a plane? Well this is kinda like that only it’s zombies on a train. Okay, so it’s not exactly like Snakes on a Plane, but hang with me for a moment.

Much like Snakes, Train to Busan focuses on a cast of roughly ten characters out of the thousands of passengers on the train. You got the business man and his daughter who he’s never made time for till now. You got the husband and his pregnant wife. You got the high school baseball team, which devolves into the team captain and his girlfriend. You got the two elderly sisters. You got the homeless dude who sneaked on the train because he had foreknowledge of the zombies. And you have the bag of dicks business guy who’s only looking out for himself. All you need is Sam Jackson and some bro in need of witness protecting.

What’s interesting to note here is that all these characters are paired off, save for the asshole who, yeah spoiler, tries to fuck over everyone else on the train to stay alive. It’s clearly a commentary on how the business world leaves you soulless and alone, while true strength comes from other. A pretty strong message to fall out of zombie flick if you ask me. I know what you’re gonna say, “Oh, the homeless dude was alone too.” Yes, yes he was. He’s what is known in the story telling world as “the herald”. He brings word to the rest of the cast of what is going down. He outlives his purpose, but not his usefulness. And some others of you are gonna be all like “That dad who never had time for his daughter is a business man too, but you’re not calling him an asshole.” Yeah, because he’s the foil to the asshole. He’s the one who changes and grows. He goes from being that asshole looking out for only number one, to being one of the guys trying his damnest to save the people around him. Character development. Boom!

As far as zombie movies go, this one ranks up there. The zombies act differently then those in other movies, so it keeps you interested in parts that would normally be situations of either straight up bloodshed or hopeless posturing. The characters are rich, the action is engaging, and the zombies are nigh endless. All together, a damn fine movie.

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