“Snowpiercer,” a 2013 Korean production starring Chris Evans, raised some eyebrows—for all the right reasons.
Bong Joon-ho’s fantastic post-apocalyptic book adaptation is a delight for both the casual movie watcher and critics. Evans is joined by the amazingly talented Tilda Swinton, the South Korean wonderman Song Kang-ho, and Ed Harris. This dystopian story takes place in a single train. Forced to find solace in a man-made, infinite ice age (otherwise known as Rochester in January) in an exceptionally long train, the ill-treated tail-sectioners revolt against the dictator-type driver/engineer/owner/father of the train, hoping to break out of their rigid, policed, mundane quality of life.
For a science fiction thriller, and for anything else, “Snowpiercer” excels at gripping the viewer by the arms every inch of the ride. The linear but beautifully deep story is fascinating enough to pull the viewer into the world of social disorder, and the fact that almost all of humanity is extinct only helps imprint the urgency and the frustration of characters onto the viewer.
From the bloodbaths in a single corridor, to the tense exchanges between the oppressors and the oppressed, Snowpierecer boasts exceptional cinematography. The whole concept of being on a train was replicated flawlessly, complete with constant swaying and the unholy screech of wheels on tracks. Gore is ample, but necessary to progress the plot forward. There are times when it feels like the director challenges you to laugh, yet the core plot of the movie, as well as the savagery accompanying the dark humor, renders the viewer incapable of it.
With an amazing cast, Snowpiercer easily breaks through the veil between actual fiction and the unquestionable truth. Granted, there are some discrepancies throughout the movie. The science behind a never-ceasing train, hurtling through perpetually falling snow and ice, is questionable, but the underlying themes of inequality, social order, and wild axe-swinging are what truly occupy the viewer’s mind. The cast does the script great justice, with Hollywood giants Evans and Swinton giving Oscar-worthy performances, convincing the viewer of the horrors of life in the giant metal tube, the unarmed against the riot gear–toting, Gestapo-like guards.
A wonderfully artistic piece, Snowpiercer never felt rushed, or too slow. A perfect pace, by a superb director, has pushed this movie into my top five.. Aesthetically astounding, and armed with a chaotically stunning script, Snowpiercer should most definitely be on your to-watch list.