Zombies, shot at life among humans never works out. This is no exception.
-plot in terms of the intro. There are many routes this could have played out: the news bulletin of an out break, a chemical gas, magic. Their take was more realistic in terms of a passersby(an unaware person) and was not too played out. For example don't you hate movies that start out generally the same without much change:batman and robin, spiderman, deadpool all fighting for justice.
-ending was definitely not what i thought for sure. Kudos to the writers on that. Yet, i feel mixed on
to how it was portrayed.
-characters: No matter whom it was say an officer they didn't break character.
-message: though it was short and midway through their message was a connectable piece of data that shouldn't be ignored.
art: Character portray was original and clear but in terms of blending in with the environment they did not mix well. Almost as if someone showed there characters via a projection on an everyday street. Hard for the viewer to sink in if he/she can not fully connect to the story.
Seoul-yeok / Seoul Station is clearly not a must-watch movie but represents an average movie for zombies fans and a bad movie for Last Train for Busan's fans.
If you have never watched the live-action film Last Train for Busan, please go ahead and watch this masterpiece of modern zombies films. I watched many films with this thema, going from classics (George Romero's fims such as Zombie, Night of the Living Dead, etc) but also modern ones (Resident Evil saga, World War Z, 28 Days Later, etc) and Last Train for Busan can easily enter my top 5.
So for those who have not watched it yet,
Seoul-yeok takes place in the eponym Korean city where you will follow a woman & her boyfriend, being separated at the beginning. They both have to survive the debut of a zombie apocalypse, with regular humans turning into bestial creatures who only desire to bite/eat non-infected livings. The story is basic to follow and has nothing exceptionnal. In fact most viewers watched it because they appreciated Last Train for Busan?
And it was disappointing... indeed, this film does not add anything to the original work, it is actually totally canon. There is no common point, not even a train that seems to go somewhere. Well ok, some scenes take place in the underground, on the metro/train rails but that's it. What frustrated me the most was the total absence of any relation, any easter egg or anything that indicates a relation.
I was not asking for a very obvious point but for example, in REC 3, you have a 10 seconds scene where a TV in the background shows a scene from REC 1/2. This little detail was totally missable for someone who did not watch the previous films but acted as a related element for those who did. Easy, short & gives you a smile. Seoul-yeok did not even fulfill its role to be a sequel for Last train for Busan.
Disappointing overall with horrible tearing scenes (I mean, characters crying, not something heartbreaking) that made me laugh like crazy. An animation correct at the best, even a bit mediocre on some points. The story was... skippable, even if the conclusion tends to be more dramatic than expected (however I did not care much about it). Very shameful that they did not EVEN give a single hint reminding the original film. Also, extremely ironic that it was called "Seoul Station" but most scenes took place OUTSIDE of a metro station...
I'm genuinely confused by the curious amount of critical success the film received. With a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes I thought the film could do no wrong, but I learned from my foolish mistake after watching this. Seoul Station is the prequel to Train to Busan, a live-action Korean zombie movie that enjoyed great success. I haven't seen Train to Busan myself, but I am curious as to how it stacks up to this movie - I assume it's a lot better.
The plot of Seoul Station is easy to guess given the subject matter - a zombie outbreak occurs, causing society to be disrupted
and causing people to scramble to find each other in this terrifying world of unknown dangers. the film primarily follows the quest of a four protagonists to find each other in this new chaotic world.
The problem with this story is that it really doesn't bring anything new to the table in regards to zombie stories. Some reviewers have praised the way the film reflects the social injustice in South Korea, and the discrimination that working class and homeless groups receive in the country. I don't know a whole lot about Korea, but I wouldn't even have guessed that was the primary goal, because frankly, the ideas it brings up seem almost quaint. People in power protecting themselves at the expense of the poor? People not having the resources to protect themselves once the establishment has fallen? Because you see these ideas crop up in zombie fiction so much, Seoul Station doesn't do enough to differentiate itself from other zombie flicks, and as such its social commentary feels lacking.
The film does have a number of really good scenes, however. There are moments when you can get to now characters and understand how their different backgrounds cause their relationships to be strained. And the film's ending was brilliant enough that it makes the film at least worth consideration. But these scenes are few and far between, the gaps filled by generic chase and action sequences set to a generic pounding rock track.
Similarly, the protagonists are quite interesting. There's a young woman, a former prostitute, saved from the streets by a disrespectful young man who spends all his time at a gaming café, ignoring her needs. They are separated and joined respectively by an old man, the first one to witness the effects of the zombie virus, and the girl's dad, who berates the gamer for the way he has mistreated his girl. Each of these characters are interesting, but their character arcs seem to resolve very shortly, with large spaces between development padded out by more zombie chase filler.
I haven't watched much Korean animation, but having seen this and Kai, I believe Korea is more fond of CG in animation. Sadly, the Cg in Seoul station feels irredeemably cheap. The low framerate can't disguise the rigid movements and the unnatural expressions on the characters' faces.
Ultimately, Seoul Station is a movie that doesn't need to exist for any particular reason. The social commentary is easily overlooked given the over-reliance on horror clichés to tell the story, its characters have potential for elaboration that is wasted, and its horrid, stiff animation makes the film a lot harder to watch, That's not to say that the film has no interesting potential . It really does, but it's sacrificed to the alter of action sequences an filler, which is a dead shame.
It may be about zombies but the director seems to take a zombie apocalypse to bring out a social scope on the matter; South Korea’s homeless predicament is a ubiquitous theme throughout the film, prostitution secondly, youth runaways. Centerpoints which all come down to a social class theme.
At least that’s what I thought of it.
Homelessness was tied to all the prominent characters from what I saw as I scrubbed the video to the beginning, going back before finishing the last act, pausing at the each character’s first appearance onscreen. Their surroundings tell all and are primary motivation for specific characters decisions; where they
are at first, and what one could infer from the scenery at that moment pretty much paints the picture of the character.
It should be noted that this isn’t some crappy z-flick movie best left in a trash bin. The plot is quite good, it definitely plays off at the end, leaving one to think about what was and what ended as the movie drew to a close.
Just like the rest of the z-flicks, it’s not a happy story - but it’s one that puts out its key punches in way unique from most of the rest.
It’s a pretty well polished film, great music and ambience, with a distinct animation style, great rendering if not a bit over the top character gesturing. With that, the film smoothly strong-arms the characters’ emotional state onscreen most of the time.
Just one quick thing to point out about the criticization of the graphic animation. It was well done imo, the style probably wasn’t in many people’s tastes. I could only count of two short and quick scenes where I was there were a few more lines of details instead of, say in one, where the floor was just a flat green one color.
More importantly, in addition to the animation expressing the character’s emotional state, it does extremely well detailing the bodies of the animated cast. The physical appearance of a character’s body should be kept in mind as the film moves on and when extra detail is shown of or when the camera centers in on a part of the character. I thought it was very emphatical keying into the those cues. The background and scenery art’s relationship to the film’s theme of home also became very well emphasized as one of our mains reacted with the surroundings at the last act. Again, here the film gives an image to allow the viewer to contemplate the events that had past in the film to the current moment on scene.
To summarize my take on the art a bit, I saw the graphical representations to be quite detailed and refined for most of the time in the film. I thought at times the visuals, and the little details especially, should be definitely taken into account in order to sink into the atmosphere of the movie. The blurring, animation and style of locomotion could be offputting at times, akin to Knights of Sidonia’s style but any negative aspects in the film’s art is offset by the important details put in scene.
On how the film kicked off and died slowly then lingered after:
I thought it was unique a intro and background-reveal to one of the main characters, although I was a bit annoyed with the first act’s prime character’s method of speech, a different character from former first described.
Finally, I thought the ending was just lovely for me. It hit the right notes for me.
And on a musical perspective, it hit the best note with its song at the very end. I was out of breath and forgot to take one in. Stunning.
- - - This isn’t the average zombie movie. And if one like this type of horror, it’s well worth a watch and it may leave some nice surprises that gives more than one what was initially looking for - - -