By Dave B.
Train to Busan (2016, currently on Netflix) is a difficult movie to review. Not because it was bad. Just the opposite, in fact. I enjoyed it immensely, but it’s hard for me to express why. Yes, the cinematography is excellent. Yes, the plot and acting are solid. Yes, the action is good. But there is also more to this movie than is found in most zombie action thrillers.
For starters, the protagonists are likable. Extremely likable. Considering that there are only a couple of handfuls of people in the world that I consider to be extremely likable, this is quite an accomplishment. Even better, I could empathize with the antagonists. They may have been cowardly and selfish, but I think many viewers will be able to understand their perspective due to this film’s superior writing and direction.
Certainly, Train to Busan isn’t perfect, but even its flaws add to its charm. It can occasionally be heavy-handed with its messages of cooperation and sacrifice, but those instances lead to compelling and moving plot points. The poor decision-making and lack of caution that is a staple of horror movies reared its head here too, but there were relatively few decisions that I felt were egregiously stupid.
Overall, I loved Train to Busan. I plan on watching it again. When it leaves Netflix, I’ll buy it. I highly recommend this movie to lovers of good films, regardless of genre. It’s smart, exciting, and moving. If you give it a chance, I think you’ll love it. 9/10