Snowpiercer – Review
Perhaps one of the more bizarre films of recent time, Snowpiercer left several moments of confusion and disbelief. Aside from this, the film also delivered great originality along with strong points of view on humanity and of fate of our survival.
In the beginning of Snowpiercer, we are given news of mankind’s failed attempt at correcting Earth’s global warming issue we currently face with today. The failure causes a modern day ice age to the world leaving only a select few remaining survivors to gather on a massive train designed by a man known as, Wilford (Ed Harris). By his hand, Wilford was able to design an engine so superb which could run continually without stopping and with little maintenance. The train also referred to as, Snowpiercer; was architecturally designed to self-sustain a full civilization protecting the last remaining humans from the harsh elements outside. The track the train tracks on is unique in itself. It circles the globe at a distance so great the time for one lap takes exactly 1 year.
Like our current society, the survivors on this train are separated by an upper and lower class. Upper class people live in luxury at the front of the train, while the rear is filled with the less fortunate individuals who are crowded, starving and praying for a much better life. The only thing preventing these people from a gaining more is the security force maintaining order lead by a woman named, Mason (Tilda Swinton). Mason is actually one of the most entertaining characters in Snowpiercer. Swinton delivers her role as Mason to its full potential, leaving the audience wrapped up in her every move.
As events unfold in the opening scenes, we discover it has now been 17 yrs since the people boarded the train. Several rebellions have made attempts to overthrow Wilford’s control of the train, but none have yet succeeded. Curtis (Chris Evans), who is now a looked upon leader among the lower class people, has been formulating a plan of attack of his own for some time. With the recent leader now far beyond his years, Gilliam (John Hurt) at his side, Curtis uses his advice to fulfill his strategic move.
During the movement, viewers are taken on a journey showing how the train is able to support a civilization. Each car has a unique feel, which I felt was pleasantly designed. The characters throughout the film are filled with corky personalities and this too gave the film a positive touch. As far as films go, Snowpiercer sets on its own for originality, but if you’ve played the video game Bioshock, you wouldn’t be able to help see a similar comparison. As in Bioshock with Andrew Ryan, Snowpiercer has a mysterious man leading what he believes to be HIS civilization. The odd personalities in this film are also fitting to the same type of characters in the video game. On one hand I was jealous director Bong Joon-ho beat everyone to the punch in making a film similar in style to Bioshock and on the other I was disappointed a film wasn’t made yet for Bioshock.
Now, Snowpiercer wasn’t completely polished in my opinion. Aside from the things I enjoyed, the film still had several scenes I frowned upon. One major thing which should out to me was several scenes involving Franco the Elder (Vlad Ivanov). This man is portrayed as what some would called, The Terminator. If you get in a fight, make sure this guy is on your side. As Curtis moves closer to the front of the train, Franco the Elder and him exchange gun fire from a great distance during a huge turn shooting from one window to the other. If any one knows anything about firearms (even basic stuff), a person could be the greatest shot in the world and not pin point the same accuracy Curtis was doing with a sub-machine gun. I’m all for cool scenes, but let’s be realistic if that is what the film is trying to achieve. There were several other scenes as I would classify as “bazaar” and just not believable. This film is actually quite depressing and I felt a lack in connection with characters I assumed were the primary focus. Instead, the outcome after the final events unfold were disappointing and not as I hoped for.
If you’re considering watching Snowpiercer, consider watching at home as you can view it on Video On Demand. I personally would recommend seeing this film, but be warned, you may or may not like it based on your taste for movies. For me, it sets somewhere in the middle.
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