Director: Bong Joon-ho
Cast: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner, Ko Asung, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Go Ah-sung; Luke Pasqualino
17 years after an experiment with climate control turned the planet into a frozen wasteland, the rest of humanity reside inside Snowpiercer, a high-speed train powered by a perpetual-motion engine. A class division has emerged inside the train, but now the scum in the tail end are about to revolt and take over one car at a time. Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s English language debut is based on a French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette. The recent years have brought us some terrific (The Road and The Book of Eli) and some dreadful (I Am Legend) post-apocalyptic survival stories. This one belongs firmly in the second group. It is so consistently stupid and distractingly implausible that I couldn’t concentrate on the story from all the questions in my head. Where do all the people in the front section sleep? Where do they keep all the animals that they eat? Why is the population comprised of only English, American and Korean people? Does the hero learn Korean during the revolt or why does he not need the interpretation gizmo after the first five minutes? Are the train and the tracks indestructible? As if that wasn’t enough, the movie’s social commentary is heavy-handed and its constant graphic violence in murky interiors is numbing.