A movie that went a bit `under the radar` the past year, Snowpiercer features the War Doctor and Captain America (aka, John Hurt and Chris Evans) as well as Ed Harris. Based upon a comic series, which I admit I haven`t read so I can`t make a comparisson on that part.
The story tells about the remainder of Humanity after an experiment to end global warming went horribly wrong. In 2014, scientists of 97 countries loosened a chemical, CW7, in the atmosphere to have temperatures drop to more normal levels, but instead it resulted in an instant Ice Age, wiping out almost all life on Earth, bar the occupants of one huge train, the Snowpiercer.
The main character and his companions are inhabitants of the `foot` or tail end of the train, dregs of society that live there for the most unimportant jobs, while every so often they catch glimpses of economy class, and hear rumours of first class.
Riot and rebellion is stewing, under the leadership of Curtis (Evans) and Mr Gilliam (Hurt), and when two children are abducted, they learn the guns are out of bullets and the riots begin.
One by one, they move up the train, learning that their foot is actually made from cockroaches, and when they come near the watersupply wagon, a huge, and very brutal fight breaks out. This is oddly stopped when they pass a bridge and everyone starts shouting Happy new Year, as we learn later on that the train tours the world in one full cycle. Then there is a bloody tunnel fight and casualties run high, leaving Curtis to go along with a select group only.
Right until here, the movie had a very high Irish feel from the time of `The Troubles`, as the oppressed lower class labourers rise up and revolt to the higher class citizens. Of course, having a supporting cast of mostly irish and english actors does enforce on this feel.
But as Curtis moves up the train, we learn that bullets aren`t extinct and a real culling ensures in that 74% of the tail end population needs to be killed, including the execution of his mentor Mr Gilliam. The journey gets more and more decadent for the group, and finally as they reach the Sacred Engine, are down to Curtis and the two Koreans, a scientist that designed the gate system of the train and his daughter.
Invited inside, he learns from Mr Wilford, the builder of the train, that he and Gilliam hed been playing along all the time to keep the population in balance, and that Curtis, being the first person ever to make the trek from Tail to Front, is detsined to become the new driver. He then finds out the children are used as a human waste extraction component for the train, and refuses to accept destiny. His scientist companion blows open the side of the train (a plan he designed, believing outside is safer again by signs he saw on the journey), his drug addiction being a fake as `Chrono` is nothing more then highly explodable industrial waste, and the train, after 18 years, derails and an avelanche sweeps away most of the wagons.
And Humanity? Now in the hands of a 17 year old girl and a 5 year old boy, as they step outside the wreck and see a polar bear, an indication that her dad`s hunches where true and that life had been returning to Earth.
We don`t see if there are other survivors then those two, as the film ends there and then, but it was definitly an enjoyable movie, though I was more of a fan of the `riot movie` first part then the `decadence facing` second part.
Snowpiercer is a hard reality check movie on all the differences in social standings between human beings, even in the most desperate times, but carries along it`s messages of discrimination and global warming rather well without being a morale flick.
"The train is the World, and it`s passengers are Humanity. And the leadership must be for humanity to not devour itself"
I would rate the movie a 7 out of 10. If it had carried on like the first part of the movie, this would have been a super movie, but the turn of the story after the Ekatarina Tunnel fight pulls it`s overal level down to a `fine to watch but not a classic` movie in my opinion, still, it`s two hours of entertainment and some strong perfomances by Cap.
Oh, and I would love to go clubbing in that train ;-)