Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Review: Snowpiercer

(2013) Chris Evans, John Hurt, Jamie Bell

When the world is plunged into a deep freeze after a failed attempt to control global warming, the last survivors are forced to live on board The Snowpiercer. This near indestructible train with what seems like miles of carriages was supposed to be humanity's salvation, but a sinister class system has evolved over time and tensions are running high...
It took me a long time to finally see this film due to its extremely limited release in the UK, but boy was it worth the wait. I knew about 5 minutes into this film that Chris Evans was no longer playing the clean cut super hero style role as he boldly stood up against a POW camp style attendance count. The opening few scenes in which the lower class (tail end of train) were preparing for a the rebellion brought back feelings of prison break movies, the guard pattern watching and hiding of essential escape materials was great to watch. A stunning performance by Tilda Swinton as the sadistic (but often hilarious) 'Mason' injected bouts of terror and comic relief into the plot at the same time. The rebellion goes off with a bang as the occupants of the rear carriages push forward in order to reach the engine room. They come across various other passengers who help them with their mission but a couple of Koreans are among the most valuable, the male of the 2 being able to open electronically locked doors while the other is a clairvoyant. The thing that really surprised me is how simple the plot seemed at first, get from point A to B but quickly became a more complicated affair. As the passengers moved further up the train we get to share their bewilderment as they open the various carriage doors, the contents ranging from deadly to the down right bizarre. There is a scene which involves the crew stumbling in on a primary school class mid lesson which was a truly stand out moment for me! Throughout the entire film I was always eager to see what was going to be thrown at the heroes next, how they would overcome their current predicament and what was really waiting behind that final door....
The Verdict

It is rare for an action film to make me feel the range of emotions that this film succeeded in doing and lets hope this sets a trend for future releases. Snowpiercer truly shone through the crowded and mediocre slew of action films produced over the last couple of years. It's varied and talented cast carried the film from start to finish and the increasing sense of tension made for a heart pounding experience.


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