Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Joon-Ho Bong’s new Movie Snowpiercer is one of the best futuristic dystopian Science Fiction Films ranking alongside Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and The Wachowskis’ The Matrix. It is a magnificent addition to cinema because it truly brings back the ideals of story-telling within an Action Film instead of having gratuitous violence with a subplot. The Film is in a way minimalist but carries itself as something so much larger that it truly captivates the audience within its Story and Characters, leaving you grasping for every bit of information you can get your hands on. Snowpiercer truly is a remarkable Film that reminds us what Cinema should be.
The Film starts off by informing the audience what has happened to the world with its global warming issue. Since Global Warming was becoming an increasing hazard, a scientist created a solution CW-7 which is a global cooling agent. However, this went drastically wrong and ended up sending the world into a sixth Ice Age. The remains of humanity are on the Wilford Express, a Train that was built to travel the world through all sorts of terrain. This is where we end up meeting our hero Curtis (Chris Evans), and his Brigade consisting of his best friend Edgar (Jamie Bell), the brains behind the operation Gilliam (John Hurt), the stressed out Mother Tanya (Octavia Spencer) and the relentless Kronol addicted former Security Guard Namgoong Minsoo (Kang-Ho Song). The Train, much like society before it crumbled, was divided into classes and the elites were up at the front and the less fortunate, which happens to be roughly 99% of the population are stuck in the tail of the train. Curtis’ Brigade must breakthrough the obstacles on the other cars to get to the engine room to control the train and allow the 99% to live, instead of relying on inhumane living conditions.
The performances throughout Snowpiercer are phenomenal in all aspects from Evans to Hurt. Evans plays a Man-on-a-Mission to perfection. Unlike The Avengers though, he shifts his role into an entirely different gear, proving he is more just Eye Candy in Spandex. In addition, Tilda Swinton is absolutely remarkable in her role where she played the appointed messenger for Wilford. She truly expressed her twisted soul demeanour to perfection. The entire Cast uniformly puts its best food forward and it truly pays-off in this well-executed Film.
Snowpiercer is clever, well-paced, engaging, and never pandering, delivering a minimalist Story on a large scale. This Film shows us that we don’t need a constant adrenaline-fueled Story to keep us engaged, a Film needs a captivating Story with properly-developed Characters. Snowpiercer deserves to be appreciated widely.
eOne Films release Snowpiercer Friday, July 18, 2014.