If you’ve been on Netflix recently you’ve probably seen a movie called Snowpiercer on there. It’s that one with Captain America, but he can only afford to shop at Goodwill.
It’s a movie too dumb to make much sense, but also too cool to care.
Snowpiercer takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where all life on earth is dead due to a failed climate experiment, and now the last people on Earth live on a super train that travels around the world. Unfortunately it’s run by fascists at the front of the train, who try and keep the regular folks at the back of the train down. Bummer.
The movie is engaging both in its storytelling and in its aesthetics. The movie looks amazing and it’s what you would imagine a train would look like in the future. The further the story gets towards the front of the train, the more visually thrilling the movie becomes. The characters also give some weight to the story. They make you care what happens, and get you to engage in their mission to get to the front of the train through any means possible.
This is a Sci-Fi action movie, and it helps that the action scenes are the best part of the entire film. Too bad they are sometimes the most strangely shot moments of the entire film. For an R rated movie the action scenes are surprisingly PG-13 in some instances. A lot of the actual violence is just outside of the shot, and what could have been a bad-ass bloodbath turns into more of a, “well that’s pretty neat.” There are movies that unnecessarily violent for no reason, and then there are movies like Snowpiercer that I feel should be more violent.
Where the director Joon-ho Bong succeeds in creating a visually engaging movie, he also fails in providing a script that comes close to equaling the action scenes in the film. The bad guys are too cartoony to be taken seriously, the first and last acts are heavy on exposition and makes you think on how this movie makes very little sense. It also seems intent on taking itself very seriously, which doesn’t mesh well with the increasingly baffling events and twists that unfold as the movie goes on.
Despite its narrative shortcomings and weaker beginning and final acts, Snowpiercer is an entertaining, fun, and visually thrilling movie with plenty of scenes that will makes you say, “Oooooh shiittt.” Also Chris Evans probably gives his best acting performance to date.
Overall Score: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Grab a beer, grab some friends, and discuss how awesomely dumb and cool this movie is.
RedAss Reviews’ Random Observation
What is it with Asian directors making English films, and then the films being nowhere near as good as their previous work? Joon-ho Bong, who directed Snowpiercer, also directed The Host, Mother, and Memories of Murder (which might be my favorite movie ever) and all of those movies are amazing. Same thing happened with Kim Jee-woon who directed The Last Stand and Chan-woo Park who directed Stoker. Their English films aren’t bad, but their other films are so great it makes you wonder what happened.
Hollywood needs to just give these directors the keys to the Ferrari, and not backseat drive their movies into the ground. Hopefully they’ll get it right one day, until then we’ll just be getting watered down remakes of foreign films like Quarantine and Oldboy instead of letting these great foreign directors create their own work with a Hollywood budget.