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Disappointed by Brad Pitt's 'Bullet Train'? Hop on Korean train films for an unforgettable ride

 

”Bullet Train“ stars Hollywood star Brad Pitt. (Sony Pictures)
”Bullet Train“ stars Hollywood star Brad Pitt. (Sony Pictures)

Even with a big Hollywood star, Brad Pitt's “Bullet Train” failed to appeal to Korean moviegoers, which is contrary to North American box office results.

As of Sunday, the film’s accumulated number of audiences here since its release Aug. 24 stood at 136,147.

Even the Korean low-budget comedy film “6/45” directed by Park Kyu-tae that came out the same day performed better. Park’s film saw more than 1.1 million tickets sold as of Sunday.

Reviews of “Bullet Train” on the Korean cultural content review platform Watchapedia also showed those who had seen the film were less than impressed.

“The characters are attractive and the actors are charming, but I think the film itself will have mixed reviews,” a comment read.

“I bought a ticket thinking that I was getting on a KTX (bullet train), but it felt like I got on a Saemaeulho (normal train). Brad does a great job but unfortunately, he could not make the train run at the speed of light like the title suggests,” another comment read.

For those who are disappointed in Pitt’s new film, here are two Korean train films that were both box office hits.

Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer” (CJ ENM)
Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer” (CJ ENM)

Oscar-winning Bong Joon-ho’s sci-fi thriller on a train

“Snowpiercer” is Bong’s English-language debut film that garnered 9,349,991 audiences here.

The film is also known for bringing together a stellar cast that included Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell and Ed Harris along with Song Kang-ho and Ko Ah-sung.

The movie is based on the French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige,” and depicts inter-class struggles among the world’s last-remaining inhabitants aboard a moving train. Outside the train is a world of freezing death, completely covered in snow.

In the very last railcar, people of the lowest social class live in an unsanitary environment and eat protein bars made of dead cockroaches. Their children are also forcefully taken away by the rich who live in the front of the train. After 17 years of destitution and strict segregation, Curtis (Evans) and people living at the very back organize an uprising.

Yeon Sang-ho’s “Train to Busan” (Next Entertainment World)
Yeon Sang-ho’s “Train to Busan” (Next Entertainment World)

Korean zombies on a train


“Train to Busan” directed by Yeon Sang-ho was the first movie to attract more than 10 million viewers at local theaters. The total number of tickets sold was 11,565,479.

Yeon’s apocalyptic thriller starts with the story of fund manager Seok-wu (Gong Yoo) who is struggling with a demanding job. After separating from his wife, he also has a hard time connecting with his young daughter Su-an (Kim Su-an). When Su-an begs to go see her mother who lives in Busan, Seok-wu decides to take her to the port city via train.

Onboard are the pregnant Seong-kyeong (Jung Yu-mi) and her husband Sang-hwa (Don Lee); a high-school baseball team consisting of Young-guk (“Parasite” star Choi Woo-shik) and the vivacious manager Jin-hee (Ahn So-hee).

As the train speeds along, an unknown virus begins to spread among passengers, turning people into zombies.



By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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