Big Screen :: Snowpiercer

July 28th 2014


This is a story of social revolution, and its a pretty damn good one…

Snowpiercer takes place in a world where some dickhead scientist’s stupid plan to fix global warming has completely frozen the entire planet.

As this scenario unfolded I kept imagining that somewhere in Melbourne there must be a frozen four wheel drive containing an Andrew Bolt ice cube plastered with a smug, “I told you not to listen to the scientists” grin. Luckily before all this happened the worlds ultimate train nerd designed and built a perpetual motion locomotive that circles the whole globe endlessly for decades now, its passengers the last remnants of mankind.

We join the poor downtrodden abused peasants at the back of the train; who snuck aboard and have been brutalised by the rich jerks at the front ever since.

The jerks are represented by Tilda Swinton playing a gonzo variation of her arsehole bureaucrat character from Moonrise Kingdom. As the film opens Chris Evans is about to lead a revolution to take control of the engine, overthrow the elite and establish a new order on the train.

You might have guessed this doesn’t feel totally realistic…

It’s more of your allegorical post apocalyptic magical train movie. If you watch this and nitpick about how the train works and where the food comes from and all of that you are missing the point. This is a story of social revolution, and its a pretty damn good one.

The films ending contains some pretty radical ideas about what it takes to change the system. To make it easier to swallow, all of this is dressed up in a tense and exciting action movie.

We begin in dark and miserable cargo carriages, but the movie stays visually engaging as each new carriage the revolutionaries move through has some new variation. There are also some amazing and innovative action sequences and shootouts.

This is not surprising though, because this is the English language debut of master Korean filmmaker Joon-ho Bong, who made the fantastic monster movie The Host, and the classic Memories Of Murder. This guy knows what he is doing, which is why not surprisingly Harvey Wienstien tried to cut his film to bits before release. I suspect Wienstien, the ultimate Hollywood fat cat might have realised he would have been right up the front of the train with the other bastards eating sushi with Tilda Swinton.

The cast is very international, and it is odd but great to watch actors like Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song and Jamie Bell share the screen. Each are brilliant actors on their day, but would ordinarily never find themselves in the same movie. It’s fair to say that the film occasionally stretches the metaphor beyond breaking point, and the visual effects look a little cheap occasionally, but I didn’t mind.

I really enjoyed Snowpiercer, check it out…

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