Film of the Week: Snowpiercer (2014)


Bong Joon Ho directs Chris Evans, Song Kang-Ho and Tilda Swinton in a brutal post apocalyptic revolution set aboard a unstoppable train with the remanents of humanity within. 

Unreleased in the UK, this is a triumphantly realised slice of international sci fi with a killer cast. The world building is impeccable with the Extinction Level Event, creation of rail based ark and class based society explained in neat, believable and logical strokes for such a fantasy. The characters are a bit slimmer but this matches their under nourished dehumanised situation. Spot on casting of the dozen or so speaking parts adds shade and relatability outside of what is scripted – Swinton as a dictatorial middle manager stands out. She embodies a sly satirical tone that never relents even at the bloodiest or most shocking points of the revolt. As a political work about the seperation of the haves and demonisation of the have nots it is solid and engaging allegory which hits some emotional resonance – particularly in three particularly grim, almost stomach churning, revelations made as the rebels make their way through the train. Set design and costume work are also extraordinary and detail a society with dwindling resources but a desire to display each carriages’ social position and personality. Action when it comes is inventive, claustrophobic, violent but constantly varied. This is the work of an entire crew of movie creatives firing on all cylinders. Unmissable.


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