“Snowpiercer” is a 2013 post-apocalyptic drama directed by Joon-ho Bong (known then as Bong Joon Ho), the director of several South Korean motion pictures. This film stars many prominent actors such as: Chris Evans, Ed Harris, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer and Alison Pill.
The movie was created using a $39.2 million budget, but only made about $171,000 opening weekend. The lack of income was mostly due to low publicity and a boring trailer.
The story takes place during the year 2031 (only 14 years after this article is being written). The world has been frozen over for 17 years (meaning the icy apocalypse occurred in 2014, 3 years before this article is being written, so it jumped the gun a bit). Since that cold end-of-the-world event, the survivors have been living on a train that is constantly moving around the earth. This train is self-sustaining, breaking up the ice that freezes over the tracks ahead of the train and melting it down for water. There is even a garden section that grows food.
The thing that makes the story special is the blatant classist system the train follows. The closer to the engine room you are, the higher up the class ladder you are. Curtis (Chris Evans) decides enough is enough and leads a group of the lowest-classed citizens who aim to reach the front of the train and organize a forced coup, resulting in the wealth being spread evenly throughout the train cabin societies.
This story may seem simple and the trailer does not make it seem worthy of committing a whopping two hours and six minutes of your life to, but trust; me it is. This is one of those movies that is simple at heart, but masterfully demonstrated in whole. This is not just some other meathead run-of-the-mill post-apocalyptic action film; this movie shows a powerful visual of a Marxist society and the power of the underclass rising up against the oppressive engine room.
In this film, you get to see the struggle of the train occupants that range from cannibalism in the tail of the train, to playing God in the engine room and also the complexity of the self-sustaining locomotive that the movie takes place on; the garden, the zoo, the guard room, the school, the swimming area, the bar, the party room and finally the engine room. The train is approximately 60 cabins, each with their own purpose (but don’t worry, the movie doesn’t go show every single one of them).
This film is rated R for violence and gore and a hefty amount of profanity, plus there are a secondary lower-class of oriental workers that are all opium addicts. So take the rating into consideration when picking a fun movie to watch with the kids (maybe don’t do that with this one).
All-in-all, this is a fantastic movie that has managed to go unseen by many, despite it airing on television about once a month. The movie wasn’t popular when it was in theaters and still isn’t popular today, having only just under 200,000 reviews online.
Please see this movie, it is too good to not be more popular. This is not only a good film for the average movie-goer but a fantastic film for self-acclaimed movie buffs.