Saturday, July 26, 2014

Movie Review: Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer is easily the most unique and entertaining sci-fi action flick since Pacific Rim. Comparing the two movies would be pretty pointless however, Pacific Rim was a blockbuster homage to B-rated kaiju films of old and was purposely campy. Although adapted from a French graphic novel, Snowpiercer feels fresh and excitingly original. While watching the film's many action spectacles and curve ball plot twists, I couldn't help but remember my first viewing of The Matrix. Snowpiercer is nowhere near as complex or self serious as Neo's Simulacra and Simulation inspired computer madness, it's just a damn thrilling movie that found me sitting on the edge of my seat and smiling ear to ear throughout its duration.

do not fuck w/ Captain America: EVER
The film takes place in the not too distant future, where a failed global warming experiment backfires and ends up freezing the entire planet, killing all life in the process. The last remnants of humanity live on a globe crossing train called, the Snowpiercer. For the survivors, Earth and the outside world no longer exist, their only reality is the train. Like in our current times however, life on the Snowpiercer sucks if you ain't in the top 1%. The huddled masses in the back of the bus/train are living all the worst post apocalyptic dystopian cliches, while the fat cats in the front stroke their beards and sniff hallucinogenic toxic waste til their hearts' content. Chris Evans leads a rag tag rebellion on board who try to overtake the engine and end their life of squalor and misery.

Director Bong Joon-ho has created the perfect storm of drama, action and over the top absurdity in this flick. The film's all-star cast (John Hurt, Korean star Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, Ed Harris and fucking Captain America himself) serve up amazing performances which anchor this film's otherwise flimsy premise to some much needed reality. The violence depicted onscreen is both jarring and titillating. People drop like flies in this movie and it seems like each death is gnarlier than the last. Finally, the set design and costumes of each train car makes the protagonists journey feel like something out of Alice and Wonderland. The film shifts gears from scenes with awesomely done stylized violence, to somber depressing ass drama, to laughably over the top zaniness and it somehow all works. If you're looking for an intelligent alternative to the Transformers type drivel we're spoon fed every summer, you cannot go wrong with Snowpiercer.

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