July 02, 2014

Haiku Revieu: Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer (****)

Humans on a train
Don't turn around, don't look back
Chris E. gives good beard

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. Full disclosure: I knew very little about this movie until actually seeing it in theaters. I'd seen part of a trailer or two, but wasn't really sure what to think. I knew it was directed by a v. famous Korean director, but it wasn't really a foreign film. I knew it was a dystopian piece, but I didn't quite understand how. And then, come to find out, it's based on a French graphic novel, but, like any adaptation, takes liberties. All that said, Snowpiercer is a darkly beautiful film, and I'm really glad the dinnertime showing of How to Train Your Dragon 2 was too early for us to make. (Although I still really want to see that, too.)

Snowpiercer takes place entirely on a ridiculously long train that travels the world housing the last of humanity. Nearly 20 years prior to the time the movie takes place, humans tried to fix global warming and instead turned the Earth into a frozen wasteland. The last of humanity jumped on this massive train—which takes one full year to complete a circuit. As with all dystopian stories, however, all is not well on the train ... particularly with the people who live in the train's tail end, where frightening squalor is the norm. But revolution always comes at a price.

For a not well-known movie with a limited release, Snowpiercer stars many a familiar (and famous) face. Chris Evans plays the lead—it was great to see him out of spandex, but there's a Captain America-style quality to his character regardless—and he's backed up by the likes of John Hurt (Doctor Who, Merlin, loads of other things), Jamie Bell (Jumper, Billy Elliot) and Octavia Spencer (The Help); Tilda Swinton (Chronicles of Narnia, Constantine) plays a fantastic crazy person (natch), and Allison Pill (Scott Pilgrim) plays sickly sweet all too well. The story was really powerful, too—but equally hard to watch. Humans are terrible creatures, y'all.

My favorite part of the wasn't the fabulous acting or the intriguing story, though ... it was the train. The sets they created for the massive, quite possible technologically impossible train were fabulous. When I was little, I created a similarly awesome train—albeit on a much smaller and cheaper scale (i.e., shoeboxes and Kleenex)—for my Quints dolls. Watching the train in Snowpiercer totally made me a little nostalgic!

I'd recommend this movie to anyone who wants to have to think a little after the credits roll. (But do be warned: It can get really gory.)

If you've seen the movie, I'd love to discuss! Let me know in the comments.


  1. I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS! (Also, I'm pretty sure all the comments I ever leave you are one of two things: maniacal giggling or yelling in all caps)

  2. I love Joon-ho Bong and the premise sounds amazing. Will have to check if it will be playing near me anytime soon.

  3. This looks awesome! I will have to see if it's playing near me. We debated going to see Edge of Tomorrow, but this (to me) looks like something I'll enjoy more!

  4. And I love you for it! :D

  5. I don't think I've seen any of his other films, but I'd like to. Snowpiercer was just so cool, I can imagine that his other films are equally so.

  6. Both are great films, but this one's a little less "Hollywood," if that makes sense?

  7. Definitely check out "The Host," a sorta goofy but oddly inspiring Kaiju movie & "Memories of Murder," which is basically True Detective set in 1980's South Korea.

  8. I added The Host to my Netflix queue and will seek out the other one, too! Thanks for the recs. :)