Train to Busan

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Train to Busan
Train to Busan.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Hangul부산
Hanja釜山
Revised RomanizationBusanhaeng
Directed byYeon Sang-ho
Produced byLee Dong-ha
Written byPark Joo-suk
Starring
Music byJang Young-gyu
CinematographyLee Hyung-deok
Edited byYang Jin-mo
Production
company
Distributed byNext Entertainment World
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • 13 May 2016 (2016-05-13) (Cannes)
  • 20 July 2016 (2016-07-20) (South Korea)
Running time
118 minutes[1]
CountrySouth Korea
LanguageKorean
Budget$8.5 million[2]
Box office$98.5 million[3]

Train to Busan (Korean부산행; Hanja釜山行; RRBusanhaeng) is a 2016 South Korean action horror film[4] directed by Yeon Sang-ho and starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, and Ma Dong-seok.[5] The film mostly takes place on a train to Busan as a zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks out in the country and threatens the safety of the passengers.

The film premiered in the Midnight Screenings section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on 13 May.[6][7][8][9] On 7 August, the film set a record as the first Korean film of 2016 to break the audience record of over 10 million theatergoers.[10][11] The film serves as a reunion for Gong Yoo and Jung Yu-mi, who both starred in the 2011 film The Crucible. A sequel, Peninsula, was released in South Korea on July 15, 2020.

Plot[edit]

A chemical leak at a biotech plant causes the start of a zombie apocalypse that slowly spreads across South Korea.

Fund manager Seok-woo is a cynical workaholic and divorced father. His daughter Su-an wants to spend her birthday with her mother in Busan. After being overcome with guilt after watching a video of Su-an suffering from stage fright while singing "Aloha 'Oe" at a recital due to his absence, he decides to take her to Busan via an early KTX 101 from Seoul Station. Other passengers include working-class man Sang-hwa and his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong, selfish COO Yon-suk, a high school baseball team, including Yong-guk and his cheerleader girlfriend Jin-hee, elderly sisters In-gil and Jong-gil, and a homeless stowaway.

As the train departs, signs of chaos from the epidemic reach the station, and an infected woman runs inside, unnoticed. She soon turns into a zombie, attacks an attendant, and rapidly many crew and passengers are turned. The remaining passengers quickly secure themselves in the front and rear cars, observing that the infected zombies only attack if they can see them or hear them nor can operate the train's doors. They learn from news reports of the rapidly-spreading epidemic across the country, and Seok-woo discovers the biotech plant was connected to his business. He uses his connections to try to secure safe travels for Su-an and himself.

The train stops at Daejeon Station, supposedly secured by the military. The passengers disembark into an empty station, but soon find the soldiers have become zombies. Many passengers are attacked and killed as they race back to the train, while most of the surviving ones safely board the front cars. Su-an, Seong-kyeong, Jin-hee, In-gil, and the homeless man find themselves between two cars of zombies and quickly take shelter in the restrooms. Seok-woo, Yong-guk, and Sang-hwa, having stayed back to provide cover, race to board the moving train and end up in the back cars. The operator drives the train to Busan learning it has been established as a quarantine zone.

Learning of their trapped loved ones, Seok-woo's group uses the darkness of tunnels along the route to cross through the zombie-filled cars and rescue them. The group continues moving towards the safe front cars. They inadvertently alert the zombies in the last car before the safe one. Seok-woo and Sang-hwa stay back to hold the doors closed while the others escape, but Yon-suk has convinced the other passengers that they are potentially infected and they should not help. Sang-hwa sacrifices himself to give Seok-woo time to get the others to safety. In-gil is too slow and is caught by the zombies to Jong-gil's horror.

Yon-suk leads the other passengers in the front cars to force Seok-woo's group into a closed vestibule, believing them infected. Jong-gil, shaken by the passengers' selfishness, lets the zombies into the front car, killing most of them, though Yon-suk manages to escape into a restroom. The train is forced to stop near East Daegu train station due to a blocked track, forcing the survivors to seek a new train. Yon-suk, in his escape, pushes Jin-hee and the train captain and attendant into a pack of zombies; Yong-guk stays with Jin-hee until she dies and kills him. An out-of-control trail causes a derailment, trapping Seok-woo, Su-an, Seong-kyeong, and the homeless man under a train car. The homeless man holds back a zombie horde while the others escape out a small hole and find a working locomotive. As they head toward Busan, a zombiefied Yon-suk attacks Seok-woo and bites him before Seok-woo can throw him from the engine. Knowing he will turn, he quickly teaches Seong-kyeong how to operate the train and says his goodbyes to Su-an before throwing himself off the engine.

Seong-kyeong and Su-an are forced to stop at a blocked tunnel just before Busan and walk. At the tunnel's exit, military snipers prepare to fire on them until they hear Su-an's singing of "Aloha 'Oe" and realize they are human and quickly help the pair to safety.

Cast[edit]

  • Gong Yoo as Seok-woo, a fund manager who is estranged from his daughter
  • Ma Dong-seok as Sang-hwa, a tough man
  • Kim Su-an as Su-an, Seok-woo's young daughter who wants to go to Busan to see her mother
  • Jung Yu-mi as Seong-kyeong, Sang-hwa's kind, brave wife who is pregnant. During the film, she is the one who mostly looks after Su-an.
  • Choi Woo-shik as Yong-guk, a young baseball player who is going to Busan to a baseball game
  • Ahn So-hee as Jin-hee, Yong-guk's friend
  • Kim Eui-sung as Yon-suk, COO of Stallion Express
  • Choi Gwi-hwa as a homeless man, who suffers from PTSD after a zombie attack
  • Jeong Seok-yong as Captain of KTX
  • Ye Soo-jung as In-gil elderly woman who is the older sister of Jong-gil
  • Park Myung-sin as Jong-gil sister of In-gil
  • Jang Hyuk-jin as Ki-chul, train attendant
  • Kim Chang-hwan as Kim Jin-mo

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Train to Busan grossed $2.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $96.3 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $98.5 million.[3]

It became the highest-grossing Korean film in Malaysia,[12] Hong Kong,[13] and Singapore.[14] It recorded more than 11 million moviegoers in South Korea.[15]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 94% of 116 critics have given the film a positive review, with an average rating of 7.60/10. The website's critics consensus states: "Train to Busan delivers a thrillingly unique — and purely entertaining — take on the zombie genre, with fully realized characters and plenty of social commentary to underscore the bursts of skillfully staged action."[16] Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, assigned the film an average score of 72 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[17]

Clark Collis of Entertainment Weekly wrote that the film "borrows heavily from World War Z in its depiction of the fast-moving undead masses while also boasting an emotional core the Brad Pitt-starring extravaganza often lacked," adding that "the result is first-class throughout."[18] At The New York Times, Jeannette Catsoulis selected the film as her "Critic's Pick" and took notice of its subtle class warfare.[19]

In a negative review, David Ehrlich of IndieWire comments that "as the characters whittle away into archetypes (and start making senseless decisions), the spectacle also sheds its unique personality."[20] Kevin Jagernauth of The Playlist wrote: "[Train to Busan] doesn’t add anything significant to the zombie genre, nor has anything perceptive to say about humanity in the face of crisis. Sure, it lacks brains, and that’s the easy quip to make, but what Train To Busan truly needs, and disappointingly lacks, is heart."[21]

Filmmaker Edgar Wright was a big fan of the film. Wright recommended the film in a tweet and called it the "best zombie movie I've seen in forever."[22]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Asian Film Awards 21 March 2017 Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated [23]
[24]
Best Supporting Actor Ma Dong-seok Nominated
Best Editor Yang Jin-mo Nominated
Best Visual Effects Jung Hwang-su Nominated
Best Costume Designer Kwon Yoo-jin and Rim Seung-hee Nominated
Blue Dragon Film Awards 25 November 2016 Best Film Train to Busan Nominated [25]
[26]
[27]
Best Supporting Actor Kim Eui-sung Nominated
Ma Dong-seok Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Jung Yu-mi Nominated
Best New Director Yeon Sang-ho Nominated
Best Art Direction Lee Mok-won Nominated
Best Screenplay Park Joo-seok Nominated
Best Editing Yang Jin-mo Nominated
Best Cinematography Lee Hyeong-deok Nominated
Best Lighting Park Jeong-woo Nominated
Technical Award Kwak Tae-yong and Hwang Hyo-gyoon (special make-up) Won
Audience Choice Award for Most Popular Film Train to Busan Won
Buil Film Awards 7 October 2016 Best Film Train to Busan Nominated [28]
[29][30]
Best Supporting Actor Kim Eui-sung Won
Best Supporting Actress Jung Yu-mi Nominated
Best Cinematography Lee Hyeong-deok Nominated
Best Art Direction Lee Mok-won Nominated
Yu Hyun-mok Film Arts Award Yeon Sang-ho Won
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards N/A Best Foreign-Language Film Train to Busan Won [31]
Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated
Korean Association of Film Critics Awards 24 November 2016 Technical Award Train to Busan Won [32]
Saturn Awards 28 June 2017 Best Horror Film Nominated [33]
Baeksang Arts Awards 3 May 2017 Best Film Nominated
[34][35]
Best Supporting Actor Kim Eui-sung Won
Ma Dong-seok Nominated
Best New Director Yeon Sang-ho Won
Chunsa Film Awards May 24, 2017 Technical Award Kwak Tae-yong Won [36]
Special Audience Award

for Best Film

Train to Busan Won

Home media[edit]

American distributor Well Go USA released DVD and Blu-ray versions of Train to Busan on 17 January 2017.[37] FNC Add Culture released the Korean DVD and Blu-ray versions on 22 February 2017. It is also available on Rakuten Viki, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video streaming. The Indian version is a minute shorter than the original version due to a few violent zombie shots being censored.

Prequel and new installment[edit]

An animated prequel, Seoul Station, also directed by Yeon, was released less than a month later.[38]

Peninsula, a follow-up film set four years after Train to Busan and also directed by Yeon, was released in South Korea in July 2020.[39] Yeon has stated that, "Peninsula is not a sequel to Train to Busan because it's not a continuation of the story, but it happens in the same universe."[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Train to Busan (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  2. ^ Noh, Jean (13 August 2018). "'Train To Busan' director Yeon Sang-ho working on sequel". Screen Daily. Media Business Insight Limited. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Busanhaeng (2016)". The Numbers. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Train to Busan (2016) - Yeon Sang-ho". AllMovie.
  5. ^ Kay, Jeremy (9 June 2016). "Well Go USA Entertainment boards 'Train To Busan'". Screen Daily. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Cannes 2016: Film Festival Unveils Official Selection Lineup". Variety. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  7. ^ "'Train to Busan' to screen at Cannes". The Korea Times. 2 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Zombies fail to impress in 'Train to Busan'". 19 July 2016.
  9. ^ Chen, Heather (3 August 2016). "Train to Busan: Zombie film takes S Korea by storm". BBC News. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  10. ^ notclaira (7 August 2016). ""Train To Busan" Is The First Korean Film Of 2016 To Break This Audience Record". Soompi. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  11. ^ Byun, Hee-won. "Korean Movies Prove Box-Office Gold". The Chosun Ilbo. Chosun Media. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  12. ^ Begum, Mumtaj. "'Train to Busan' speeds away to box-office record". The Star. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  13. ^ Chu, Karen. "South Korean Zombie Hit 'Train to Busan' Becomes Highest-Grossing Asian Film in Hong Kong". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  14. ^ Wai Yee, Yip (24 August 2016). "Train To Busan is No. 1 at Singapore box office and top Korean movie to date". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Zombie Movie 'Train to Busan' Passes 11 Million-Viewer Mark". The Chosun Ilbo. 19 August 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Train to Busan (Busanhaeng) (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Train to Busan Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  18. ^ Collis, Clark (24 August 2016). "Train to Busan: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  19. ^ Catsoulis, Jeanette (21 July 2016). "Review: All Aboard 'Train to Busan' for Zombie and Class Warfare". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  20. ^ Ehrlich, David (18 July 2016). "'Train To Busan' Review: This Electric Korean Zombie Movie Goes Off The Rails". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  21. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin. "Korean Zombie Thriller 'Train To Busan' Needs More Brains [Review]". The Playlist. Spin Entertainment. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  22. ^ @edgarwright (4 November 2016). "Best zombie movie I've seen in forever. A total crowd pleaser. Highly recommend. Go see 'Train To Busan'" (Tweet). Retrieved 30 August 2017 – via Twitter.
  23. ^ "South Korean cinema leads nominees at Asian Film Awards". Yahoo!. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  24. ^ Frater, Patrick (11 January 2017). "'Handmaiden,' 'Bovary,' 'Train' Lead Asian Film Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  25. ^ "Hollywood Local Productions Dominate Nominations for South Korea's Blue Dragon Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  26. ^ "박소담 연기한지 3년만 여우조연상 "솔직히 부담돼" 눈물 펑펑 - 스포츠투데이 - TV보다 재밌다". stoo.asiae.co.kr. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  27. ^ "[제37회 청룡영화상] '곡성' 쿠니무라 준 "한국영화의 힘 알게 됐다" 남우조연상 수상 (2016 청룡영화제) - 스타서울TV". 25 November 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  28. ^ Kil, Sonia (7 October 2016). "Busan: Bu-il Awards Provide Counterpoint to Festival". Variety. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  29. ^ "Winners Of 25th Buil Film Awards Revealed". Soompi. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  30. ^ "2016 Buil Film Awards". Dramabeans. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  31. ^ "Never mind Oscar, here's the 2017 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Nominees Ballot!". FANGORIA®. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  32. ^ Endrino, Jorge (24 November 2016). "36th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards". asiateca.net. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  33. ^ McNary, Dave (2 March 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  34. ^ "공유·박보검·남궁민·한석규...백상예술대상 男TV연기상 4파전". Star.mk.co. 7 April 2017.
  35. ^ "'Guardian,' 'The Handmaiden' win big at Baeksang Awards". Korea Herald. 4 May 2017.
  36. ^ "'2017 춘사영화상' 나홍진, 최우수감독상...하정우·손예진 남녀주연상". SE Daily. 25 May 2017.
  37. ^ "Train to Busan (2016): Releases". AllMovie. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  38. ^ Conran, Pierce (7 April 2016). "YEON Sang-ho's SEOUL STATION Debuts in Belgium". KoBiz. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  39. ^ Choi, Jin-sil (28 February 2020). "강동원 주연 '반도', 런칭 포스터 공개…'부산행' 그 후 4년". Sports Seoul via Naver (in Korean). Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  40. ^ Noh, Jean (20 February 2020). "Train To Busan' follow-up 'Peninsula' scores raft of sales (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Media Business Insight Limited. Retrieved 28 February 2020.

External links[edit]