Published on June 27th, 2014 | by Ryan Guerra0
Korean director Joon-ho Bong takes us on a Science fiction ride with Snowpiercer. Based on the graphic novel Le Transperceneige, Snowpiercer is a story set on a train which acts as a human Noah’s Ark as it is the only place to survive after an attempt to stop global warming caused the planet to over freeze and become inhabitable. Not only is the train humanity’s last salvation, but it also mirrors human society as each portion of the train represents a different class structure. The poor and underprivileged are kept imprisoned in the back of the train, while the first class passengers are living in privilege in the front of the train. When the back of the train has finally had enough, they revolt and attempt to take control of the train and improve their place.
This is the film that Chris Evans chose to do in-between filming The Avengers and Captain America: Winter Soldier. In my opinion, he made a great choice. To me, Evans has always been just blah and one-dimensional. While he does not stray too far from how we have seen him act in the past, this film gives him a chance to show some depth and grit of character that we have not truly seen from him. Everyone looks at him as being the leader and you can see why. He embodies that character. I was impressed by his performance.
Along with Evans, Tilda Swinton helps carry this film from basic Sci-Fi ride to better than average film. She is fantastic in this film. She plays Mason, the governance of the train that helps keep things in order. She is the one that comes down from the front of the train and explains how and why the people in the back should keep their place. She steals the show with her presence every time she is on screen and gives a fantastic performance that causes us to both spite her, but also understand she is doing what is best for the train.
Without revealing too much about the story, the pacing of the film is great. It is not in a rush to get you from point A to point B, but rather takes the time to intertwine character development into story. The first half of the film is the revolt film where we see the dregs of life and the fight for freedom. The second half of the film is the reveal of wonderment where we see how the other side lives. In true Sci-Fi fashion, the story is a social commentary on our current place in society with regards to the richest 1% in the world. The revolt changes to a question of control which in turn changes to a question of true freedom, but at what cost?
I would recommend this film to any Sci-Fi fans or anyone looking for a thoughtful film and change of pace from the big summer blockbuster.
For a more in-depth discussion about the film, be sure to check out our podcast review.
3.5 stars out of 5
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