Very rarely has a film captured and kept my attention like this one. Captivating from the opening credits all the way through the entire film. Wildly original, Snowpiercer re-defines the post-apocalyptic genre. Set in the future, the Earth is frozen from mankind over-compensating for the climate change crisis. The cooling of the planet has killed most of the population with a small number of human beings still alive aboard a speeding train making its way on a track that crosses the globe.
The thing is, society as you know, isn’t always regarded equally among its members. Each car of the train contains a different social sect. The rear car contains the supposed dregs of society that the more privileged don’t want to deal with, nor do they want to share the niceties of life including good food, clean water and healthy living conditions. A revolution takes place aboard the train (this isn’t the first in the train’s long history) and the dregs have had enough. They start to fight their way toward the engine, encountering a different world in each car as they progress forward, which is where the adventure of the film emerges…
The rest of the story you’ll have to watch play out in the film. It’s too good for me to say anymore and spoil anything for you. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it…Suffice it to say, the writing is brilliant and the story very well crafted and imaginative.
Chris Evans plays the lead character and is much more complex than you originally may guess as he reveals his backstory. His portrayal is powerful and passionate, masterfully presented. John Hurt portrays the elderly leader that everyone looks up to while Ed Harris is the maniacal mastermind behind the creation of the train and the world within it. Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer and Jamie Bell all put in command performances as well. The lineup includes Kang-ho Song, Ewen Bremner and Ah-sung Ko. All the actors are quite good.
Pay attention to the voice overs during the opening credits, some of the concept is explained through that sequence, helping to set the stage. Not exactly a happy-go-lucky ending but one that does provide hope and very appropriate within the context of the story. Written and directed by Joon-ho Bong.
See this movie.
reviewed by Sean McKnight