Snowpiercer (2013)

snowpiercer poster 2013 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Interesting story and characters, thinking movie

Tone and story won't work for everyone

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Snowpiercer

Studio:  Moho Films

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  July 29, 2013 (Premiere)/August 1, 2013 (South Korea)/July 27, 2014 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


I think I can! I think I can! I think I CAN!

An experimental chemical called CW-7 meant to stop global warming causes the world to go into a polar plunge.  Humanity’s only survival is the Snowpiercer…a self-sustaining train that holds the last remaining humans.  With an intense class system with the low class workers at the tail of the train and forced to survive at the whims of the wealthy.  Curtis Everett (Chris Evans) has vowed to lead a group out of the tail of the train and demand justice for his people.  Reaching the engine and the conductor Wilford (Ed Harris) is the goal and freedom is the hope.

Directed by Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer is based on the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette.  The graphic novel wasn’t published for years in English and its release corresponded with the release of the film.  The sci-fi fantasy film was critically acclaimed and quickly developed a cult following.


Tilda Swinton…getting make-up to make her look even weirder.

I had the chance to read Snowpiercer shortly after its release in English.  I enjoyed the graphic novel and looked forward to seeing the film.  The film and the graphic novel have different tones and I think that the tone of the film is a much more appealing tone that can attract a larger audience.

I think the story of Snowpiercer is an interesting one and the graphic novel does a lot better job explaining how the train is set-up.  The movie takes a more tongue-in-cheek approach and plays a sly satirical approach to the story.  There is a lot of humor and smart writing which does get a bit lost in the end which features an almost interpretational ending on what it means for the future of humanity (is it better or worse at the end…is there hope or have their chances been dashed?).


So…is Soylent Green people?

Chris Evans shows some range with this movie.  I have always thought he was one of the better actors in the “superhero” genre that has developed and I hope that he doesn’t get typecast.  The movie also features a number of strong supporting characters.  Octavia Spencer plays a tail end mother searching for her stolen child and Jamie Bell is Curtis’ right-hand man.  John Hurt plays Gilliam, a tail end man, who might be hiding a secret, and Ed Harris is the engineer of the train who is worshipped as a god.  Bong Joon-ho regular Song Kang-ho places the Snowpiercer’s security creator and fellow costar of The Host Go Ah-sung plays his daughter (again).  The real scene stealer is Tilda Swinton as the representative of the head of train who eats up every scene with her great speeches.


Today’s class we’re going to learn how to shoot nasty tail-end people

The movie also looks quite good.  I like Bong Joon-ho’s style and love other films that he’s made.  The movie utilizes the tight space of the train and the battle scene is a reminder of the hall battle of Oldboy (which was made by another Korean director).  I wish that they had spent a little more time explaining the train because the rich scenes of the upperclass society at the front of the train are quite fun.

Snowpiercer is one of the more unique sci-fi films to come out in recent years, and I am sure that the fanbase for the film will grow.  The movie is interesting and different.  Despite being a “depressing” drama, the movie is loaded with humor and great imagery.  I like that the film doesn’t give all the answers and leaves room for interpretation.  Fans of sci-fi should check it out and the richness of the film makes it more of a wide appeal than some sci-fi.

Related Links:

Snowpiercer 1:  The Escape

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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