Snowpiercer (2014)

 

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Graphic Novels, ladies and gentlemen. That’s all. I keep saying it and they keep producing pretty damn good movies. This one is vastly different in its approach and it’s fresh enough to excite all kinds of audiences. Make no mistake, this is the kind of film we need to see more of. Uniting a cast of all different races is and should be an easy feat and it needs to happen more often, because it works so well.

Together, they can unite and defeat the system.
Together, they can unite and defeat the system.

After a global warming combatant failed and brought upon the next ice age, the remaining civilians of the world took shelter in a high-speed train that rides on an endless loop. Inside, the cars are sorted by class and each serve a different purpose for the continuing of humanity. In the back, Curtis (Chris Evans) and his right-hand-man Edgar (Jamie Bell) plot to take control of the engine in the front of the train. To do this, they’ll need the help of a mother (Octavia Spencer), and two persons from another car in the train (Ah-sung Ko & Kang-ho Song).

Making it to the front of the train will be no easy feat, though. A woman named Mason (Tilda Swinton) keeps order within the cars and it’s her mission to ensure that Curtis’ revolution is stopped before chaos ensues within the train. To overtake each car, the revolutionaries will have to fight their way past all sorts of foes, risking their lives for their cause. Facing oppression, classism, and death, this group will have to give it there all to defeat the system.

Mason isn't having any of it.
Mason isn’t having any of it.

Snowpiercer is one of the strangest and most creative graphic novels that could have been adapted into a film. So much could have gone wrong with the stories video game-like setup, but this film didn’t disappoint, nor did it sacrifice much from the novel. This has got to be one of the coolest and most igneous films that I’ve seen in a very long time. On top of that, this film employs actors of every race and doesn’t blink an eye about it! In those terms and in terms of the epic action, we need more films like Snowpiercer.

The concept of humanity being all but whipped out has been done more times than I care to count, but it’s what’s left of the remaining that can make for a great story. The class division on this train and the different train cars was so creative, while also seeming like a real possibility in our given day and age. Seeing each car and its unique offering was extremely cool and only made this film all the more interesting. The chain of progression makes sense and the established organization, while evil and unfair, also rang true to how some have always tried to rule over others. For being a dystopian film, there’s a surprisingly large amount of humanity here.

Riding in a Winter Wonderland.
Riding in a Winter Wonderland.

Visually and aesthetically, Snowpiercer impresses on all levels and then some. The amount of detail provided for each car of the train is unbelievable and then when fighting goes down, that’s when you’ll be really impressed. Using anything for a weapon, the revolutionaries fight close-quarters and everyone is at risk. The fighting looks fantastic and awesome in every way and this is when that video game aspect shines through. The CGI is impressive on its own, especially as the frozen world outside whisks by the windows.

Snowpiercer’s diverse cast works all kinds of wonders and while there’s not one standout performance, maybe aside from Swinton, everyone comes together and does a kick ass job. Evans plays the leader role with care and Jaime Bell operates well as his right-hand-man. Octavia Spencer is really good here and her devotion to her child is what really stands out for her. Song and Ko, drug addiction and all, work great together and their contributions create some needed tension in the film. If y’all wanna see a great actress killing it and having fun, Tilda Swinton is your miracle maker. She’s got such a quirky role that she fully embraces and makes the part her own.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!

Personally, I really loved the class oppression in this film and the general politics surrounding the “holy” train. There are snippets of religion interspersed, because the train and its creator saved them all and the young kids must learn that. The rich have steak and the poor have protein bars. People are taken from families for any reason and the tension that builds it astounding. I loved watching events unfold democratically and then in total anarchy. More than that, anyone not in the back knows their place and how to behave in some situations and that almost adds some comedy to this film too. It’s all very interesting and makes for a better story, in my humble opinion.

Snowpiercer has so much to offer each and every person and I hope that it all appeals to a wide audience. Director made fantastic casting choices and his ability to bring people together and make it look like its nothing is desperately needed in Hollywood. The story, visuals, action, and messages are all stellar and this film (and the train) never slows down. You’ll always be entertained and the film finds the perfect mixture of action and story. Snowpiercer, while not completely, is something fresh that everyone should make it a point to see.

Snowpiercer Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX5PwfEMBM0

4 STARS!!!

4 / 5 stars     

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