Monday, March 2, 2015

Snowpiercer - Movie Review

Snowpiercer is a science fiction action movie both written and directed by acclaimed Korean director Bong Joon Ho. The film stars Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Kang-ho Song, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner, Ah-sung Ko, Vlad, Ivanov, Adnan Haskovic, Luke Pasqualino, Alison Pill, and Stephen Park.

In a world where human beings have caused Earth's climate to get all out of whack leaving the planet covered in snow, a select portion of the population has been chosen to survive on a train called the Snowpiercer. A class system based on positioning aboard the train has left an elite few in control over the impoverished majority who are kept at the back of the train. As time has gone by, a resistance has built and a man named Curtis (Evans) appears destined to lead a revolution that could change the course of history.

Bong Joon Ho has been a really good action movie director for some time and this film is his first feature release in the United States. If he keeps making movies like this, he could end up changing the face of the genre for years to come. He successfully combines science fiction, action, and political commentary and creates a story filled with iconic imagery and a truly original movie going experience. The fight scenes are a little more brutal than what American audiences might be used to, especially for those used to seeing Chris Evans as Captain America, although it definitely fits in with the gritty nature of the story itself.

While the effects, imagery, and choreography are all top notch, the movie is also filled with quality acting performances with Chris Evans, of course, being at the forefront. Over the last several years, he has more than proven to be a worthy leading man and does nothing to change that with his take on the reluctant hero he portrays in this movie. Another standout is Tilda Swinton in her role as Minister Mason, a truly unique and very strange character who clearly defines the upper end of the social hierarchy while also mirroring the insanity that is slowly eating away the population of the train. The contrast between Curtis and Minister Mason is a real defining element of the story even down to the clothes they wear and the foods they eat. Aside from these two, we also get to see Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, Ed Harris, and Kang-ho Song deliver their own memorable performances.

Snowpiercer is one of those rare treats we get to enjoy as they pop up even though, for some reason, they often don't get the type of push that major studios reserve for their own pet projects. If you didn't have a chance to see this movie during it's limited domestic release, please take the opportunity to see it now that it is available for home viewing.

"What happens if the engine stops?" - Teacher
"We all freeze and die!" - Students


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