For Reel


Snowpiercer (2013)
April 3, 2014, 12:37 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Bong Joon-ho
4 Stars
SnowpiercerThe latest genre picture from virtuoso South Korean director Bong Joon-ho is a high-concept science fiction actioner that arrives as a ready-made cult classic. In order to battle global warming, governments across the world distribute a substance known as CW7 into the atmosphere, which plunges Earth into another ice age and renders humanity nearly extinct. The survivors live aboard a fast-moving vessel called the Snowpiercer, which maintains order through a rigid class system that keeps the lower class civilians in the over-crowded back of the train while the rich live in luxury. In its early-goings, the picture shows potential but seems all-too familiar–the monochrome, grungy visuals recycle a dystopian ghetto aesthetic that has become increasingly stale in recent years. Once a revolt against the upper class is staged, however, and Joon-ho follows his protagonists as they move their way through the train car-by-bar, the film bursts to life with vividly drawn settings and unforgettable set pieces, including a brutal action sequence that takes place in almost complete darkness and a memorable visit to a car where a psychotic teacher (Alison Pill) lectures young schoolchildren about the wonders of their vehicle’s creator, the evasive, God-like Wilford. There are some hiccups here-and-there–some of the dialogue is clunky, and near the end a few monologues overstate their point–but the film’s questions of fate and free will, the necessity of an economic hierarchy, and ultimately whether humanity is worth saving give the picture a fascinating theoretical backdrop.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I though this didn’t come out for, like, ages? Still looking forward to it anyhow.

Comment by Movie Quibble

It’s actually already out on DVD elsewhere! Amazon.fr has it if you have a region-free player.

Comment by Eric Fuerst




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