Snowpiercer (2013)

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Writers: Joon-ho Bong, Kelly Masterson, based on the French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige” by Jacque Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette
Stars: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Kang-ho Song, Ed Harris

Running Time: 126 mins.

“Snowpiercer” brilliantly depicts the status of the haves and the have nots in this sci-fi action-thriller.  

The year is 2031. A massive climate catastrophe has turned the earth into an icy snow globe and the only people left alive are the ones lucky enough to have boarded the Snowpiercer, a unique self-energizing train that loops around the globe, never stopping.  

Seventeen years into the trek to nowhere, the lower class, living in squalor and disease at the back of the train get fed up eating the same slop everyday and being abused by the elitist Nazi-like guards that they stage a revolt.  

Led by the hardy rebel Curtis (Chris Evans), and aided by his best friends Edgar (Jamie Bell), Gilliam (John Hurt) and Tanya (Octavia Spencer), a distraught mother looking for her missing child, they take action to get to the front of the train where the mysterious Wilford (Ed Harris) rules and life is a lot rosier.    Just how “rosy” is a visual delight for the viewers.  

The guards protecting the integrity of the train and the upper class are controlled by the wickedly crazed Mason, played by the extraordinary Tilda Swinton, who answers only to the unseen Wilford.  

But it’s not going to be an easy task as each section of the train is gate locked and each section  is an unknown.  The key to getting them unlocked is Namgoong Minsoo (Kang-ho Song) a Korean master of just about everything, it seems, no matter how spacey he appears to the others.

Okay, so it took 17 years for the lower class to figure they got a bum deal.  Aside from that,  Lotta says Snowpiercer is a compelling futuristic fantasy that, given today’s reality of the 99% versus the 1%, doesn’t seem so far-fetched.  It addresses the big question about why the train never stops.  There’s action, engaging and powerful characters as well as performances and humor, particularly with Tilda’s character.   I really liked this film.