Distributed by: CJ Entertainment
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I love this job! I get to listen to music I never would have heard had it not been for the kind folks who send me soundtracks for review. And were it not for receiving these soundtracks, I may never heard of movies that might have peaked my interest had they ever been advertised adequately. Such is the case with Snowpiercer. I listened to the soundtrack and then did a little research on the film. The idea behind the film was intriguing, so I decided to check it out.
Curtis Everett (Chris Evans) has been riding the Snowpiercer since he was seventeen, when scientists, hoping to reverse the effects of global warming, released a chemical into the atmosphere that worked all too well. It brought on a new Ice Age. Since then, Curtis has endured a number of atrocities while living in the rear section of the perpetual motion train.
Rear section passengers, having not paid for their births on the Snowpiercer, are second-class citizens and subject to harsh treatment. Nearly starved until recently, they are fed gray, gelatinous protein bars while forward section passengers dine on steak and sushi. Rear section passengers live in filthy, overcrowded cars, packed in like sardines, while front section passengers enjoy luxurious spacious environments. People are forcefully taken from the rear cars - children and people with certain talents - never to be seen again. Harsh punishments are dealt out to those who cause trouble in the rear cars.
But a revolution is about to take place...a revolution years in the making. Stamped down a number of times in the past, this time the rear car rebellion has help from someone at the front of the train. Curtis is about to lead a team of determined passengers on a mission that will bring them to the prison car. There, they will rescue a security specialist (Song Kango-ho) and his daughter (Go Ah-sung) in exchange for help in overriding the various security doors leading to the front of the train.
But will making it to the front of the train actually be worth all of the losses along the way? Is he who controls the engine actually the one who controls the train? Nothing is as it seems onboard the Snowpiercer and Curtis is about to learn some of the harsher truths about who really is in control of the train, Curtis' destiny and how balance has been kept among the passengers these past eighteen years.
A South Korean science fiction action thriller based on a French graphic novel (Le Transperceneige), Snowpiercer is a fast-paced ride with a surprising amount of emotional drama that goes hand in hand with the action. Much of the drama is tied to Curtis' leadership role and why he needs to get to the front of the train, but a lot of it comes from the other members of the rebellion and Curtis' newfound ally. When you find out why Curtis is fighting, why he is so enamored with his mentor and what all of this means to him, you are equally shocked and hopeful that Curtis will finally get what he desires most - answers.
You will become so engrossed in the characters and in their mission that you will feel the pain of each loss and feel especially betrayed when you learn what the rebellion was actually all about, including the identity of the forward car informant. I was engrossed in the storyline and was actually rooting for characters like Tanya (Octavia Spencer) and Andrew (Ewen Bremner), whose sons were taken by the Minister (Tilda Swinton) for unknown purposes. I wondered at Curtis' relationship with Edgar (Jamie Bell), a young man fiercely devoted to him. I was incredibly intrigued by the silent but deadly Grey (Luke Pasqualino). There were some incredible performances in this film that leant to the believability and likability of each character involved in the rebellion. Even the villains were so well portrayed that you found yourself loathing their very existence.
Some folks may not understand or even like the ending, but I found it to be full of equal parts hope and a somewhat hopeless sadness. It was thought-provoking to say the least and that's very important to me when I watch a film - that it should provoke thought and dialogue amongst its viewers.
So, in closing, Snowpiercer is one of those post-apocalyptic film with a believable concept, action, suspense, characters audiences will either love or loathe, a plot twist that will have viewers yelling at the screen and a thought-provoking ending. In other words, this is a film definitely worth seeing!