Benjamin Maio Mackay
Snowpiercer - 4 Stars
Snowpiercer is shocking, powerful and moving, but its use of gratuitous violence sometimes seems superfluous.
In 2014, an experiment to counteract global warming causes an ice age that kills nearly all life on Earth. The only survivors are the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a massive train, powered by an engine that is at all times guarded by the train’s creator. A class system is installed, with the elites inhabiting the front of the train and the poor inhabiting the tail. Curtis (Chris Evans) leads a revolution to try and create some sense of equality on the train.
The concept of this film is superb, the way the train is set up mirrors our society and the problems it is currently facing. It’s a very sad reflection on our society and the film makes a very bold point. It’s brilliantly scripted by Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson and the writers are able to create nail-biting moments as well as making you emotionally connected to the characters. While the plot and writing are strong the film is let down by the quantity of gory violence. There are numerous, pointless battle sequences and while sometimes they progress the story the majority of the time they are just gratuitous.
The film is perfectly cast with Chris Evans playing the leading character and he brings a haunting, and removed presence to the character. John Hurt and Tilda Swinton played supporting roles in the film and they both stole every scene they were in. The rest of the supporting cast is strong - although you should never get too emotionally attached to any character in this film – no one is safe! Ed Harris plays the train’s creator, Wilfred and he brings an overpowering and menacing tone to his role, making him one of the stand out performers in this cast.
Overall this film makes a strong social comment, has a superb cast and strong writing. However, those who have a weak disposition will find it hard to cope with the frequent gory battle sequences.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Movie screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas