Snowpiercer is a post-apocalyptic film that depicts a class struggle between the remnants of humanity who’ve escaped an ice age by boarding a train that travels the globe. Directed by South Korean Bong Joon-Ho who wrote it with Kelly Masterson, adapted from French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette. It’s been getting some good reviews, but they must be idiots or smoking a lot of pot or probably just intoxicated by seeing something of a new direction.
The story follows our hero (Chris Evans) who leads a revolt from the concentration camp-like tail to the aristocratic head of the train in order to give the oppressed the life of the gentry. It’s a classic plot we’ve seen a million times before packaged in an odd premise that has so many plot holes I’m sure there’s some geeks out there having a field day with it. But probably not because it’s been given a high score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film has some nice shots and the script seems ok, rather light, but the direction gives us these obnoxiously long scenes, evident in the crawl of act 1 and any scene after a fight that always seems either unnecessary, unbelievable, or out of place, and always edging on boring that just make this an overall odd movie. That said, it’s acted quite well, some good dialogue and the director is quite capable, so the movie comes off as, well, better than what it is.
I’m a huge fan of South Korean movies, Joon-Ho’s The Host a personal favourite, but Snowpiercer, for me, seems like it would only be enjoyable really stoned or if back in high-school. I can see the appeal, but it felt like it was missing the high-octane drive a contained movie like this needs. I was expecting the pace of Taken or, if lucky, The Raid, peppered with some comedy, horrific surprises and overall bizarre shit this ice world could give us.
Like I said, we’re seeing a new direction here. The public is largely sick of the same ol’ blockbuster crap Hollywood’s pushing out to capitalize on either the superhero craze or the latest genre fad that can be turned into cliche-spectacle. Snowpiercer is neither. It’s different and that’s what makes it great, but as a movie not so much.