Written by: Matt Molgaard
I’ve never been a huge fan of Chris Evans. I don’t think he’s an awful actor, but I wouldn’t recognize him among the elite. His work as Curtis in Joon-ho Bong’s exhilarating train ride through perennial hell and anguish is rather impressive, though – I can’t lie. He’s not going to win any awards for the film, but he’s got a few moments in which he really takes to shine and remind us why Hollywood has embraced the man as they have. And the truth is there are a number of stellar supporting performers, adorned with the chance to bring intricate characters to life. And they do. Tilda Swinton is wildly impressive, and Kang-ho Song will serve as a firm example of an amazingly talented and underrated thespian. There are a number who run with all their might, racing to be the best they possibly can, and it really, really empowers the movie.
The story boils down to global warming, an attempt to thwart the longtime affects and the subsequent disaster experienced by all worldwide when said attempt backfires, leaving the world a vast expanse of frozen terror. It’s too cold for any to survive, in fact all have perished, save for a few hundred who managed to get themselves aboard a train designed to sustain life indefinitely. But all is not well aboard the train, as each section houses different groups, with the “wealthy” at the front of the train and the scum (may as well call it as it is) of the locomotive in the rear. And those impoverished folks in the back of the ride? They’re sick of being treated like shit. Curtis forms a plan and a revolt is in motion. The only question is does he truly want to know the truth of the other inaccessible cars and the activities that unravel within them, particularly the front?
Snowpiercer is an exciting picture built around a very aware foundation. There are a number of moral questions proposed throughout the picture, and the social commentary is thick. This isn’t basic background subtext, this is material right in your face, at the forefront of things. And that helps distance this one from other post-apocalyptic pieces. It’s running on an engine ahead of the curve, and it’s certainly worth watching, more than once.
If you want to get a more detailed assessment of the picture, you can read my thorough breakdown over at best-horror-movies.