Is it possible to make a crappy movie with such a cool name as “Snowpiercer”? The correct answer is no, of course, no. I’m thinking of naming my firstborn son Snowpiercer, that’s how cool it is. Directed by Joon-ho Bong, South Korean Peter Jackson, Snowpiercer walks a thin line between two genres, and in my humble opinion, it managed to grab the right cliff in the last moment. The first genre is that pretentious art-over-content/manga. And you can appreciate great visuals, but they come and go while the mental stimuli stay with you. That’s that other genre, the one I like. Questions that remain unanswered after the movie has ended are a nice sign of the genre. Snowpiercer is a post-apocalyptic movie and I love them only with a healthy dose of sobering depression of how fucked up things really are. Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige it represents another visually stunning movie based on them. Here are a couple of others: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Immortal.
After a climate change catastrophe, brought on by humans (who else), wipes out all life on Earth with a perpetual winter, the remaining population of our beautiful planet is crammed in one train on an endless journey. During the boarding process, passengers were divided into different sections of the train based on their wealth and status. Seventeen years have passed and the lower class is getting kind of jittery. They live at the end of the train in horrible conditions, only dreaming of the middle section. One man might have what it takes to start the rebellion and his name is Snowpiercer! Just kidding, his real name is Curtis and he actually remembers life before the train.
Snowpiercer’s train actually represents our present lives quite accurately. We are still segregated into classes, living without any rational leadership (apart from some European countries) and barely surviving in this bountiful world. Should we change something? Is that change going to be good for all of us or just some? Perhaps it’s in our nature to fuck other people of their money and opportunities? All these questions will remain unanswered after the Snowpiercer has ended, but you will have a better understanding of them, that is certain. Did I mention the gratuitous violence? No, well here it is: long-ass scenes of people butchering each other serve as a nice segway between the dramatic parts of the movie.
The atmosphere was palpably intense and the claustrophobic sense of being trapped in a moving train was only amplified by the fact that there’s nothing but wasteland outside of it. The question of the reality of the situation is not a valid one. And the same goes for all those “plot-holers” claiming that they would do things differently. This is a strange blend of artistic vision and visceral action based on a French comic and directed by a South Korean director with a pretty much international cast. Just buy or download your ticket and enjoy the ride.
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Writer: Bong Joon Ho, Kelly Masterson
Cast: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Alison Pill, Ewen Bremner, Kang-ho Song
Fun Facts: The drawings in the tail section of Snowpiercer were illustrated by Jean-Marc Rochette, the original comic artist of the graphic novel Le Transperceneige.