This article we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the Train To Busan sequel and it’s ending.
Of corpse there will be heavy spoilers here so if you don’t want anything about the movie ruined then I recommend that you turn off now.
Anyway with all that out the way, thank you for clicking this, now let’s get into our breakdown of Peninsula.
Peninsula Full Movie Recap
Ok, so Peninsula picks up in the midst of the zombie outbreak from the original film.
In this movie, we discover that the virus was actually created in a biofactory in South Korea. This of course has many similarities to current conspiracy theories that center around the coronavirus and though this movie wasn’t made with the pandemic in mind, throughout there becomes a lot of similarities to what we’ve seen in our world today.
Train to Busan very much detailed how people are doomed to fail when they make selfish decisions and this movie too very much follows in the footsteps of its predecessor thematically.
In that we watched the events play out through the eyes of passengers onboard a speeding train as they tried to escape the country.
Mirroring this the opening of Peninsula picks up with Ship Captain Jung-Seok and his family as they try to escape Korea by sea. On the road they encounter a family of three and though he initially stops to help them, after believing that the father of the trio is bitten he quickly decides to abandon them to their fate.
This is an extremely selfish move especially since he could have at least helped the mother and father and this decision very much bears consequences on Jung-Seoks journey and also the ending of the film. When they reach their ride and an outbreak happens onboard the ship which ends up infecting his nephew. The boy’s mother, aka his sister, refuses to abandon her child and thus he ends up locking her in with the rest of the infected. His brother in law Chul-min returns to see his wife get torn apart and it’s a really agonizing way to start the movie.
This of course shows the two sides of humanity and there are those that will abandon the ones that they love in order to survive another minute even though their life will be worse without them whereas there are others that will stay no matter what. Jung-Seok definitely falls into the former and though he gets to live longer than his sibling and her son, it’s clear that his life becomes miserable because of it.
Now from the off, Peninsula is laced with English dialogue and it is clearly being aimed towards a western market as much as it is an Asian one. I did find these elements slightly jarring at points but on the whole I think they work well to sort of play the best of both worlds in telling the story.
We predominantly learn the ins and outs of the pandemic through American voice-overs and these detail the quarantine situation that ended up happening in Korea. The entire nation was cordoned off and this is where the title comes from. Korea itself is a peninsula and whereas the first film took place on board a train, this has upscaled to use the entire region for it’s setting.
Because it’s a no-go zone, refugees have flooded into other areas and we join Jung-Seok four years later in Hong Kong. Jung-Seok has had a big fall from grace and the ex-military man has now been reduced to living in poverty amongst a squalor neighborhood fraught with criminals and gangsters.
An Offer They Can’t Refuse
So, naturally, when he’s offered the job of retrieving $20 million onboard a truck within the quarantine zone he reluctantly accepts. Since the country was abandoned in the space of a day, people have been trying their luck and they’ve journeyed into the gold reserves, banks, and institutions in order to loot them.
Because Korean currency is now pretty worthless the fact that this loot is in dollars will help them massively and thus it becomes a more and more attractive offer, though I wouldn’t be caught dead doing it.
As we learned in the first film, the undead are almost blind at night and thus the job should be pretty straight forward for him, Chul-min, and two others.
However, it turns out to be a grave mistake as when they arrive at the truck they inadvertently alert the zombies and hordes swarm upon them. I love how there’s a kinda ticking time bomb on the group and they soon find themselves stuck on the wrong side of the border with humans hunting them too. They’re ambushed with flares which attract the undead and Jung Seok only manages to make it out of there with help from Joon-i and her sister Yu-Jin.
He abandons Chul-min to his fate and this echoes how he abandoned his sister to die onboard the boat. Chul-min has held a grudge over this and Jung Seok must learn to be selfless similar to those that helped him.
He was definitely going to die without the help of the two siblings and his poor decision making is hammered home when he realizes that their mother was one of the people that he refused to pick up at the beginning.
This quick decision has pretty much ruined the family’s life and thus they’ve been forced to live in this hell hole because of his misguided choice. Now whilst it sucks for them, as an audience, I loved seeing this group, and watching Yu-jin distract the dead with a remote control car is a brilliant moment.
These aren’t the only people living amongst the wasteland either and on the other side of the coin are Unit 613, a militant group led by Sergeant Hwang. They’re very much dog eat dog and this juxtaposes the other survivors who think about their group as a whole rather than themselves.
This mirrors our world in many ways and in the midst of the global pandemic we’ve seen two sides to humanity. There are those that realize that in order to stop the virus it will take a united front against it in which we all make sacrifices and others that are willing to break the rules for their own selfish gains.
Not to get too political but we have seen that on the whole people are willing to work together and make sacrifices whereas others won’t even give up the littlest discomforts for a couple of months in order to not spread the disease.
Though unintentional I think these two sides very much represent this and we watch how some are thinking long term and reaching out to entities like the UN whilst others are happy to just recklessly descend into the chaos as long as they’re enjoying themselves.
After picking up the truck they discover Chul-min and private Kim discovers the cash and their satellite phone. He plans to escape with his ally, Captain Seo who are both tired of living in the loop and monotony that the camp has turned into.
Here humans are used in gladiatorial arenas where they are forced to fight against the undead and I very much got flashes of Escape From New York. I would say that on the whole the movie takes influences from the aforementioned film, Mad Max and Dawn Of The Dead to paint out the best and worst of society in a really engaging way.
Dead Second Act
It’s at this point that the movie kinda lost me a bit and I actually read a lot of the reviews before the film which said it wasn’t as good as the first film. Up until this point, I probably found it on the same level however it does seem to shift too far away from the main driving force of the movie which was the relationship between Jung Seok and Chul-min to a rather stagnant plot that we’ve seen in other films.
I also felt like the cities and environments were the main selling point of the movie and being stuck in this one place did drag the pacing down in my opinion.
Kim and Seo make a deal with the gangsters that sent in Jung Seok and co whilst Chul-min is forced to fend for his life. Hwang and Seo are incredibly interesting characters but both get a bit short-changed in the end, being relegated to people that kinda gets lost in plot whilst everything heats up. I feel like these characters should’ve been combined to tell a more streamlined narrative as they both are done a disservice in my opinion.
Jung Seok tells the family about the boat and his past of abandoning them and Min-jung tells of how 30 cars passed her and her family on the road, which I think influences his final decision.
They decide to infiltrate the 631 hideout in order to get the truck and escape the peninsula. Realizing that Chul-min is alive Jung-Seok ambushes the shopping mall in which the majority of the forces are located and attempt to break Chul-min out. However, he’s killed by Hwang. Chul-min arrives to save Jeong-Suck and they escape in the truck alongside the other members of the family in a jeep as the 631 try and hunt them down.
This leads to a giant chase scene with the undead running after the vehicles which the militia do too. It definitely feels like the most heart-pounding moment of the movie.
I love the use of light and the way that the vehicles turn into battering rams to just pile through the waves of zombies. It feels like an incredible action scene out of the two films, probably the tensest point between it and it’s sequel.
They pass a location that Jung Seok encountered earlier in the movie in which the undead were trapped behind giant walls of glass.
Jung-Seok shoots this which frees the undead and they swarm the convoy killing Hwang and his forces which allows the heroes to escape.
Upon arriving at the port Seo rams the jeep and takes Joon-I hostage but Yu-jin manages to distract him with a car. He shoots the grandfather of the group who projects Min-Jung and manages to escape with the truck. Upon arriving on board the boat he’s shot by the gangsters. In his last breath, he reverses the truck out the back of the boat which damages the exit and opens it up to the zombies who flood the boat and kill all those onboard.
Back with Jung-Seok and co the grandfather, unfortunately, passes away, how the UN helicopter that he reached out to arrives and Jung Seok, Joon-I and Yu-Jin clear a path to the transport.
Realizing that they are gonna get swamped Min-Jun locks herself into a truck and tries to distract the undead so that her family can make their escape.
Peninsula Ending Explained
Now it’s at this point that Jung-Seok has a choice, he can either leave her to her fate like how he was willing to in the opening of the movie or he can actually risk his life to save her, a decision that he should’ve made the first time around. He of course chooses the latter and this shows that though we often make self-centered decisions, we still have the option to make the right. With the words of Chul-min echoing in his mind he realizes that he was in a similar situation with his sister in which he allowed her to die when he could’ve saved her but didn’t because of fear. This is hammered home by him telling the family that their uncle will save their mother which in some ways rights the wrongs of his past mistake and the sister that he left to her own fate.
Though it’s often seen for the greater good to let some people make sacrifices, it’s often a selfish decision on our behalf because we don’t do our all and try our best because of the fact that we think they can take a bullet for us instead.
This is a message that’s needed now more than ever and we as people have to realize that all life is precious. We must try and protect it at all costs and he manages to save her life.
The four escape on the UN craft and one of the staff onboard says that soon they’ll be in a new world however Joon-I retorts this by saying that the world she knew wasn’t bad either and to me this shows that even in the hell she lived in, because she had her family she was still able to see the good in life.
This juxtaposes Jung-Seok who made a selfish decision that cost him his family and though he managed to make it to this new world, he ultimately had nothing because he gave up the things that mattered the most to him. It’s a brilliant message that shows that as long as we have each other we have something and though it is possible to live without one another, in the end, we are what truly matters.
Because of his decision at the end, Jung Seok has managed to save a family from going through what he did in the new world and he has truly made right on the wrongs of his past.
The four fly off into the sunset, safe as a newly formed family ready to live their lives in this new world.
Ok so what did I think of the film overall?
Well, I have to say that I really enjoyed it though I don’t feel like it quite lived up to the first entry. That’s not to say it’s bad I just feel like the first film captured my imagination in a way that this one really didn’t due to its unique setting and overall themes.
That’s not to say this is bad by any stretch of the imagination and it might even be unfair to compare the two said as they are both so different from one another.
I will say that if you loved the first movie and zombie films in general that you will definitely have a blast here and outside of it’s slower second act the movie is a brilliant ride from start to finish.
I really hope that this movie isn’t delayed in its release in other parts of the world as it’s definitely worth checking out and I recommend that you see it as soon as you can.
Peninsula was great and I hope we get another film in the franchise sooner rather than later.
Overall this was a blast and it gets an…