Pssst, want to check out Snowpiercer in our new look?
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Really fantastic. It goes off the rails a bit towards the end, and you definitely have to be on the same insane wavelength as Bong Joon-ho to appreciate his dark humour and the film's more eccentric elements, but this is easily forgiven when the premise is this enthralling, the action this visceral, and the plot this unpredictable.
The post-apocalyptic worldbuilding, even though it's confined to the interior of a train, is phenomenal, to the point where, as the party was driving relentlessly forward through the train, all I wanted was for them to slow down a bit so I could admire the scenery. Every carriage is designed like an intricate work of art, and this level of detail is matched by the increasingly deranged people that inhabit them and the bizarre rules that they have created for their own perpetually moving, self-sustaining society. It's just such an intoxicating and irresistibly cool concept, and whilst the film definitely owes a debt to the likes of Metropolis, A Boy And His Dog, and perhaps even the Fallout games, Bong Joon-ho's typically stylish, insane, and unorthodox approach to the genre is unquestionably unique and innovative.
There are some problems however. I don't think Snowpiercer is as philosophically engaging as it perhaps could have been given the premise, and it takes a few pretty serious missteps towards the end, with the protagonist's character-revealing expository monologue about the baby a definite low point. There's also a worry that the wacky elements of the film may well frustrate those who are not consumers of Korean cinema, especially as you could be forgiven for thinking, given the advertising and the majority of the cast, that this would be a fairly typical lower budget, single location Hollywood thriller. The fact that Snowpiercer can't be pigeon-holed like this is a strength and not a weakness however, and, weirdness and all, I can safely say that this is the most enjoyable 2014 release I've seen thus far.
Song Kang Ho steals the show. While you're led to believe Captain America is going to lead the lower class to victory over the evil one percenter overlord, the real hero is the character who never speaks a word of English, and knows the real solution to the endless cycle of class struggle and revolution.
Watch this movie.
Tries very hard to be deep but it comes a few inches short.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!