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.

2 Comments so far
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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! has it if you have a region-free player.

Comment by Eric Fuerst

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