• Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Well Go USA) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Well Go USA
    Released on: November 24th, 2020.
    Director: Yeon Sang-Ho
    Cast: Gang Dong-won, Lee Jung-hyun, John. D Micheals
    Year: 2020
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    Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula – Movie Review:

    This 2020 follow up to the immensely popular 2016 Korean zombie epic, Train To Busan, Peninsula is set four years after the events that closed out the original film. The entirety of South Korea is completely overrun with zombies and is now basically on lockdown, with military types doing what they can to help survivors and take out the infected, permanently.

    A former soldier named Jung-seok travels with his brother-in law, Chul-min, to Hong Kong where they have been accepted as refugees, but before long they’re talked into illegally making their way back into their homeland with a few others in hopes of finding, and taking, a massive reserve of cash left behind by the American military. Jung-seok, Chul-min and a few others arm themselves and make their way back one night. They manage to avoid detection or capture while crossing through a substantial blockade and make their way to Incheon where the money is stored on the back of a truck, but maybe not so surprisingly, things head south quickly leaving them and the others in a fight for their lives.

    While this picture lacks the heart that made Train To Busan as effective as it was, Peninsula works just fine on a superficial level so long as you don’t mind a whole lot of CGI at varying levels of quality (some of it looks pretty convincing, some of it looks like a video game – it’s pretty uneven). As it was in the first movie, so it is again in this picture – the zombies are of the very fast moving variety. Think 28 Days Later rather than Night Of The Living Dead. That might put some traditionalists off right away, but that element of the world building done in these films is used to good effect here, managing to create some decent moments of tension and suspense.

    The movie works as well as an action movie as it does a horror picture. We get some pretty intense car chases, some hand to hand combat sequences and plenty of gunplay spread out through the picture. There are some impressive stunts on display, and much of the zombie make up is done well. As far as surface level stuff is concerned, Peninsula hits a lot of the right notes. It’s a shame then that there isn’t nearly as much character depth here as in the first movie. The picture also falls prey to the idea that it should introduce a lot of characters very quickly rather than focus in on a smaller, core group of characters and flesh them out to keep them unique and interesting. That doesn’t do the movie any favors in the long run. But hey, as far as popcorn horror/action hybrid movies go, this one is pretty entertaining stuff, even if it never feels all that original.

    Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula – Blu-ray Review:

    Train To Busan Present: Peninsula looks great on a 50GB Blu-ray disc in this AVC encoded 2.35.1 widescreen 1080p high definition transfer from Well Go USA, with the feature taking up 36.9GBs of space. Depth is impressive here as is the color reproduction. There are no problems with compression artifacts and detail is generally strong throughout, though some scenes which use heavy CGI aren't quite as sharp looking as others. Some minor banding is noticeable here and there but it's not ever to the point where it becomes distracting. Skin tones look lifelike, black levels are strong and there are no noticeable problems with compression artifacts. Texture is great, you can really soak up a lot of the intricacies of the costumes used in the movie, and all in all the movie looks very good in high definition on this release.

    The primary audio option on this disc is a Korean language DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio track, though an English language dubbed option is also available in the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Dolby Digital Stereo tracks are also provided in English and Korean. Subtitles are provided in English only. Getting back to that Korean language lossless track, it sounds really good. The film makes great use of the surround channels, especially during the action scenes, so expect a good amount of sound effects to zip past you in addition to some great directionality in terms of how the score is used here. Dialogue stays clean and clear, the subtitles are easy to read and free of any typographical errors, and the levels are properly balanced throughout. All in all, this is a very lively and active mix and a very enjoyable one at that.

    As far as the extras go, we get a two-minute general behind the scenes featurette entitled Making The Sequel, a three-minute piece called Making The Action that focuses on the action set pieces, a one minute piece on Yeon Sang-Ho entitled Making Of The Director and a three-minute piece called Making Of Characters that provides a quick look at the main character and the actors that play them. These are all pretty short and fairly promotional in nature but are worth watching once.

    The disc also includes a trailer and a teaser for the feature and trailers for a few other Well Go USA properties (Possessor, Deliver Us From Evil and Synchronic) An embossed cardboard slipcover is included and inside the Blu-ray keepcase there’s an insert advertising a few other Well Go USA releases. As this is a combo pack release, there’s also a DVD version of the movie included inside the case.

    Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula – The Final Word:

    Peninsula lacks the emotional depth that made Train To Busan as strong and gripping as it was, but this sequel is still an entertaining follow up with some good scares and solid tension, even if sometimes the CGI takes away from this. Well Go USA has done a very nice job on the Blu-ray, presenting it with flawless audio and video, even if the extra features are a bit light.

    Click on the images below for full sized Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula Blu-ray screen caps!