Indie & Foreign
Snowpiercer (2014)

This is a science fiction ride like no other. I always enjoy when Hollywood opens its doors to foreign directors, as it usually leads to unexpected results. In this case, not only does it deliver on the craziness, but it's also surprisingly accessible in a Matrix kind of way. Rush out and see this.

Rating  

A wholly inventive, full-steam gem you need to catch.

[do action=”moment” emo=”LookingGood” title=”I’ll definitely hop aboard that train.”/]

One of the first shots features authoritarian guards counting the poor and telling them to sit down row by row. Left standing up is our hero who looks like he won’t take no shit. It’s a nice visual and set up for the bleak universe this movie is set in.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Bullshit” title=”That’s no Steve Rogers alright.”/]

We quickly learn that Curtis (Chris Evans) is going to play the reluctant-hero card. While I’m sure that this story thread will play a big part later on, it seems odd that the confident guy everyone follows around whines about not being a leader. It’s not like he’s playing the underdog…

[do action=”moment” emo=”Disgusting” title=”Protein black goo.”/]

Running for best prop of the year is this steampunk energy bar people have no choice but to eat if they want to survive. As a side-note, am I the only one who felt like it was a bit less disgusting once we learn what it’s made of?

[do action=”moment” emo=”Triumphant” title=”The greatest escape.”/]

This was nothing short of magnificent. Just when you expect the escape scenario to involve some supernatural element (4 seconds? Impossible!), the wild bunch digs up an amazing plan to burst through the door in heroic fashion. The setpiece that ensues spans a couple of wagons, and it blows this movie’s universe wide open. This is the moment where this film hints at its true potential.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Quotable” title=”Tilda Swinton scores yet again.”/]

“This is size 10 chaos.” -Mason

If you haven’t seen this movie, do yourself a favour and watch this incredible monologue by Tilda Swinton. Even if it looks like it was exported from a Hunger Games movie, the whole scene offers a colourful touch to an otherwise grey universe.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Exciting” title=”The stoned keymaster.”/]

So far, the characters are all pretty bland stereotypes you’ll find in most action-adventure movies. It all changes once we meet Namgoong Minsu and his daughter. These two supposedly highly colorful characters finally give us an arc we can chew on.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Smart” title=”Wagon personality.”/]

After Minsu opens up a few doors, it gets clearer and clearer that each wagon will encapsulate its own universe. This is the kind of gimmick that makes the Internet come up with fine pieces of art like this one, and I couldn’t love it more. It also makes you wonder what’s on the other side of each door as the film progresses, a nice bonus.

[do action=”moment” emo=”HolyShit” title=”Fight scene under dark.”/]

There’s nothing like a lower class massacre, especially when the upper class has sight advantage. No doubt about it, it’s a great battle, especially when the matches come into play. The stakes couldn’t be any higher, and the screenwriting was good enough for me to invest myself in some side-characters. In fact, I even let out a gasp when Curtis chose Mason over his Tintin sidekick.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Anticlimactic” title=”Who asked for this Ed Harris borefest?”/]

Talk about an underwhelming climax. I was never a fan of the “behind the curtain” resolution, especially when it seems to pay some twisted homage to both The Matrix and The Truman Show. The only reveal that made me jump was about the kids running the engine. That was disgustingly unexpected.


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