Movie Monday: Snowpiercer

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Snowpiercer is a 2013 South Korean film based on a graphic novel : Le Transperceneige. After an attempt to slow global warming goes horribly wrong, the only survivors of the ensuing ice age live aboard a train, powered by a perpetual engine and running on a global series of tracks that takes a year to complete. A class system has developed on the train, with the elite lording it up at the front whilst the poor are confined to the rear. Here they eat protein blocks, are forced to listen to lectures about the benefits of the system and to occasionally have their children taken, for what nefarious purpose they (and thus we) don’t know.

The tail have attempted a series of rebellions over the years, but each one has failed, including the Frozen Seven (a group of seven people who left the train and froze to death) who get pointed out as being THE example why rebellions never work. The latest attempt is lead by Curtis (the scrummy Chris Evans, who still looks hot covered in dirt) with assistance from Gilliam (John Hurt, who is looking OOOOOLD!) a one-armed former rebellion leader. This time, Curtis and the rest of the tail are determined to make it to the engine and take over. Curtis uses a prisoner addicted to something called Kronole in order to make his way forward. This prisoner happens to be the man responsible for the security doors locked between cars and Curtis is hoping he can use that knowledge to get him to Wilford, the man who created the train and its engine and now is its ruler.

I would love to say more about what happens, but I think it’s kinda nice to go in without knowing everything. Suffice to say, it didn’t end how I was expecting. It was also a fair bit darker than I was thinking it would be. Sinister Minister Mason (played with exceedingly creepiness by Tilda Swinton, fuck that woman plays creeps well!) is cold and calculating and not above severely punishing those in the tail for their (supposed) misdemeanours. The scene (and this isn’t too much of spoilerificness) where they force a man to put his arm through a hole in the train to outside, causing it to essentially die, was moving.

There were some amazing scenes. The fight scene in darkness was excellent. The outside shots of the snow were glorious. The scene in the classroom was almost surreal in both look and dialogue. The standout thing for me, though, was Evans. He was magnificient in his restrained anger and quiet resolve. The movie is fantastic, but he made it so. Seeing how amazing this movie looks, I am almost tempted to find the graphic novel, if I didn’t have such difficulty reading them (not an indictment of graphic novels, I just find them difficult to read most of the time).

So, summing up, go watch this movie. It is excellent. In fact, I want to watch it again after writing this. *Adds to list for the week*

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