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Snowpiercer: Controlled Chaos at its Finest

July 11, 2014

Snowpiercer movie poster

Snowpiercer is a daring piece of work. It is controlled chaos that proves Bong Joon-ho  (The Host– you need to see it) is a fantastic director. He has a mastery of character, plot and combining the absurd with the practical.

Snowpiercer shoe

The graphic novel adaptation is startlingly violent, unpredictable and doesn’t shy away from class dissatisfaction.  The tonal shifts work seamlessly and the brutal odyssey leaves you breathless. I sat in the theater with my jaw agape staring at all the carnage unfolding in front of me. You will not forget the visuals in the film.

Snowpiercer axe

Snowpiercer is an odyssey through the cars of a massive train holding the only survivors left on earth. The train has been circling the globe for 18 years and has been rife with crushed insurrection. The rich inhabit the front in lavish clubs, saunas and gardens. The poor stay in the back eating gross protein bars while living in abysmally dirty conditions. The current revolt is led by the formidable Chris Evans (in his best role since Sunshine) who has been groomed by his mentor played by John Hurt.  To get to the front there will be bludgeoning, stabbing and freeing a drugged out prisoner played by the amazing Song Kang-ho (The Host, Thirst, The Good, the bad & the Weird). It won’t be pretty and will never be predictable. To give away more would wreck the experience. Movies like Snowpiercer don’t come around often so you should embrace the unknown and enjoy the ride unsullied of spoilers.

The biggest problem surrounding the film is the lack of support. The Weinstein Company dumped it into a limited theatrical release (due to a directors cut deal) and set it up for failure. It was released a year ago in Korea (made tons of money) and the biggest hope for the film is eventual cult movie status. I do think it will grow in popularity much like Sunshine and Blade Runner. However, it is a shame that such a unique vision won’t be appreciated.  I understand it is asking a lot of the general public to endure two hours of bleak. However, to see films like this fail is never a good thing because it reinforces the sequel, remake and prequel aesthetic.

Snowpiercer is unforgettably bizarre and confidently made. It is a daring film that allows you to think while blasting you with bloodshed. Embrace the different and open the door to a great South Korean director. Bong Joon-ho and fellow South Korean directors have proven adept at finding beauty in the macabre while maintaining humor, awe and character.

Watch Snowpiercer. Then, watch The Host and Sunshine. Support great science fiction.

 

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2014 4:49 pm

    Good review. It’s a weird movie that wasn’t afraid to just get stranger and stranger as it went along. Which, to me, is totally respectable when you have a movie with as big of a budget, and cast as this one has.

  2. David permalink
    November 19, 2014 9:41 am

    What a rush. I could not wait for it to hit the retailers. So many twists and turns. The end of the movie hits hard like the axes wielded by the New Years’ thugs. Reminiscent of the inability to drive by a fresh accident scene was this movies’ ability to command all of your senses held hostage until the final scene.

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