Starring: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Kang-ho Song, Octavia Spencer, Ah-sung Ko
Directed by: Joon-ho Bong
Written by: Joon-ho Bong, Kelly Masterson
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 2 hr 6 min
Podcast: Snowpiercer (2014)
Snowpiercer has actually been doing the rounds outside the United States since the 1st of August 2013, and was already a hit before it landed here. For good reason too, and if I were in charge of handing out awards, I would immediately without a second thought hand over trophies to Kyung-pyo Hong (cinematography), Joon-ho Bong (direction) and the absolutely amazing Tilda Swinton.
The ‘mechanics’ of having a single train house the human race aside, Snowpiercer is a distillation of the human condition. A metaphor if you will, simplified with its separate components exaggerated to tell a story about class structure, and the deluded notion that the human race is predictable, and as such controllable.
The story centers around an uprising lead by a man called Curtis (Chris Evans), and a quest to reach the front of the train. Along the way, as they break through to each new compartment, new environments and mysteries unfold. Snowpiercer is inventive, and violent at times, but always entertaining and certainly one of the more unique films to hit theaters in the last two years.
This movie earns its R rating though its graphic depiction of violence, and some drug use. It never seemed that gratuitous to me though, and certainly served the story. Also, try not to dwell on the mechanics of a train that can circumnavigate the planet, and focus on the journey inside.
This film is gorgeously shot, and I suggest you see a digital screening at your local theater. At home, a HD viewing on your TV is the way to go. Watching this on anything smaller will reduce the impact of this film.
I wasn’t kidding about Tilda Swinton in this film. Her performance is amazing, and an already great film becomes even better each and every time she’s in frame.