Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
narcissist in charge
anger in the Bible
What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
What is man’s responsibility to the environment? Answer
|Featuring:||Chris Evans … Curtis
Tilda Swinton … Mason
Jamie Bell … Edgar
Alison Pill … Teacher
John Hurt … Gilliam
Luke Pasqualino … Grey
Ed Harris … Wilford
Octavia Spencer … Tanya
Kang-ho Song … Namgoong Minsoo
Ewen Bremner … Andrew
Ah-sung Ko … Yona
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|Director:||Joon-ho Bong—“The Host” (2007)|
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|Distributor:||The Weinstein Company|
“Fight your way to the front”
In the not-too-distant future, mankind has been reduced to the meager population of passengers aboard a train that circles the globe in the new movie “Snowpiercer.” A global-warming experiment has gone horribly wrong and brought with it Earth’s new Ice Age, forcing the few survivors onto a locomotive that runs with the help of a perpetual-motion engine. The train is divided into various sections, with the very rich at the head of the train, and the poorest passengers at the back. People in the rear must stay in the back, living in small, packed quarters and eating jet-black protein bricks every single day of their existence. For years, the train has operated this way with few problems—a few minor revolts here and there, but nothing major.
Curtis (Chris Evans) has been aboard the train for so long he’s forgotten most of what life was like before ice and snow blanketed Earth. His time spent at the back of the train has been mostly miserable, witnessing mankind at its absolute worst. He has seen the revolts against the front of the train fail, and has kept notes, silently logging why each failed and how that failure could have been avoided. As the film begins, we see the group of men he has rallied around him in hopes of finally leading an assault against the front that won’t be doomed from the start.
“Snowpiercer” is based on a French graphic novel and is the first English language film from director Joon-ho Bong, who directed the magnificent South Korean creature-feature “The Host” in 2006. Bong’s technical touches are outstanding, and he is able to create a claustrophobic atmosphere for the audience like the one experienced by the passengers aboard his train. We are in the struggle with them, and, like them, don’t know what comes with each new section of the train. We find out when they find out. Some sections are violent and frightening, some are warm and welcoming, and some are just downright bizarre.
And that is the word that best describes “Snowpiercer,” bizarre. It’s an obvious metaphor for our times, where the rich get richer and the poor stay down and no one questions anything, and change and equality matter less than keeping the status quo. But, the story is told in such a strange and unique way that I often found myself laughing at the most random times, or looking around at the others in the theater and asking “Is this really happening?” The wonderful (and often bizarre) Tilda Swinton gets one of her most weird roles as Mason, the spokeswoman to the working class section of the train. She speaks for the train’s creator and conductor, Wilford (Ed Harris), and is responsible for keeping the masses placated into accepting life as it is.
“Snowpiercer” paints the picture of a dark and depressing life aboard the train that saved mankind, while contrasting it with the harsh whiteness of the snow-covered world outside. The film contains rather strong violence and language, and caution should be exercised by Christians curious to see the film.
Any dystopian future in cinema is a bleak one, hopeless and depressing. Thankfully, as Christians. We know that no matter what happens in the world around us, our future is secure in Christ and our eternity is sealed. So that, if we are ever forced to board a train to nowhere in particular for the rest of our lives, we can still have faith that it’ll be for just a short time.
Obviously, films like this don’t deal with that sort of positive message, and to expect them to do so is rather naive. Instead, we must rate the film on its merits. Is “Snowpiercer” a well-made film? Yes. Does it have a relevant message? Yes. Is it one of the stranger summer movies I’ve seen? Yes. Did I like it?
Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure. I didn’t connect with the characters like I had hoped. There was a disconnect, a cold center that kept me from warming up to the plight of the weary passengers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either. Just the truth. However, in the time that has passed since I saw the movie, I must admit I have thought about it often, pondered the message scattered about sections of the train. Is it a ride worth taking? Only you can decide. But I wouldn’t stop you.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.