Snowpiercer: The best scifi movie of 2013 that you probably can’t see…yet.


Snowpiercer is an amazing mix of visual stimulation, great story, and superb character reveals.  Perhaps you’ve heard the interwebs talking about the movie that most of America is dying to see.  Snowpiercer, based on Jean-Marc Rochette’s Le Transperceneige, has had an amazingly difficult time getting to America.  The movie’s UK and US rights were acquired by Harvey Weinstein who proposed cutting the running time down from it’s two and a half hour length.  This of course sent fans in an uproar, and delayed any planned released in these countries.

As with many foreign films that come to Japan, Snowpiercer arrived here six months after it’s initial release date, however it gave me the chance to see it in it’s full theatrical glory.  I can safely say that this movie is well worth the wait.  The story takes place in the year 2031.  The last remaining humans have boarded a luxury train that was designed to continuously tour the world in a years time.  The world had fallen into an ice age after governments introduced the chemical CW-7 into the atmosphere to combat global warming.  But to say this is the main plot of the movie would be entirely inaccurate.  The movie is actually about moral decisions, economic and social classes, and humanity.

The characters introduced in the movie quickly become relatable and lovable.  There’s Curtis (Captain America’s Chris Evans) the revolutionary that doesn’t want the roll he’s been given, Jamie (played by Billy Elliot’s Jamie Bell) the headstrong kid brother type of character that would follow Curtis anywhere, and Tanya (The Help’s Octavia Spencer) and her young son Timothy.  There plan is to escape their life as members of the last train car by starting a revolution, but where does your revolution go when you’re just a group of people on a supertrain?

Tilda Swinton plays Mason, the inbetween for the two classes.

Besides the amazing cast that was chosen for this movie, it also has Ed Harris and Kang-ho Song, the directing style of this movie was amazing.  It was directed by Joon-ho Bong who gained attention in 2006 with his Korean horror movie The Host.  This was Bong’s first English movie.  His artistic vision shined through this movie with beautiful fight scenes, and stunning long takes that transfer us to scene transitions.  The composition of the movie was spot on, with lighting doing nothing but enhancing the mood throughout.  There’s even a few scenes when the train is going through tunnels and you can feel the tension despite having limited visibility.

Weinstein has recently reached a deal where Snowpiercer will start off showing at a few small theaters and proceed to expand outwards.  So for those of you that live where Weinstein’s distribution rights are in place (North American, UK, Australian, South African and New Zealand) make sure you show your support, you won’t regret it.


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