Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Train of Life

Snowpiercer (2013) - Bong
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Oh man, Zizek will have a field day with this movie. A complete society/biosphere divided by class and those with power and those without, get this, ON A MOVING TRAIN! It's 2031, and the world has frozen over again. The only survivors are the ones on the train. On the tail end of the train are the smelly ragtag of normal people in cramped quarters. The other end, people with power, food and water, the eternal engine and its creator Wilford. Curtis (Chris Evans) and his fellows has a plan to revolt and take over the train. First, they have to patiently wait for the right moment when all four visible doors are opened to the next car. Then they need to bumrush through the heavy security forces with guns to get to Namgung Minsu (Song Gang-ho), a security specialist who designed the security system for the train and knows how to open all the doors up to the front car but for some unknown reason, locked up in the prison section of the train.

Bong adapts the dystopian French graphic novel and makes it pretty exciting and at times, beautiful. There are many set pieces that are just jaw dropping, especially the ax-wielding black hooded baddies against the good guys. Each car shows the excess of the haves, much like Wes Anderson tableaux - an aquarium, pool, steam rooms, goth club, drug den, etc. I love it. It's certainly much less annoying than Matrix and Dark Knight's philosophical posing but any less obvious in its espousing "we have to have the rules otherwise its chaos and anarchy". Snowpiercer is a superb entertainment with lots of international stars including Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Song and Evans.