Diego’s review published on Letterboxd:
I cannot believe this was the first film by Bong Joon-ho that I’ve ever seen (and this is also the first of 3 films of his that I’ll be binge watching for a few days leading up to Parasite, which has still took me so long to finally watching), and just by seeing this film alone proves to me that he’s a fantastic filmmaker and why he’s held in such high regard. I really loved this movie.
It’s a very unique movie that works in so many ways because it’s not just an extremely enjoyable post-apocalyptic sci-fi action film with terrific action sequences (I’ll talk about them later on in detail) but it’s also a very dark film with a commentary on the class system, on how mankind views its society, and how we are treated or taught in a certain way since our youth and the environment we were since that youth, and also on how we view the world in a certain way, and the film presents the themes in a very unconventional way.
The performances from everyone in the cast is excellent: Chris Evans is so good in the film, this is maybe the best performance I’ve ever seen from him, you can feel the emotions he’s going through and he’s just brilliant in the film. Song Kang-ho was also great as well as Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris and John Hurt. Terrific performances all around.
From a technical standpoint, it’s so wonderfully made: the cinematography, the production, sets and costume design are so incredible and atmospheric, Marco Beltrami’s score is riveting and perfectly matches the entire film, and the action sequences are so well done, the choreography and the stunt work is both excellent and very visceral and the use of shaky cam was one of the best I’ve seen in films recently and, alongside the quick editing and crash zooms added a lot of intensity to the action.
Overall, Snowpiercer is one of my favorite sci-fi films of the past decade, with a unique, bleak, and riveting story filled with profound, metaphorical themes and a very unexpected twist that makes the entire film more emotionally powerful and resonant. My only issue with it is that there are a few scenes towards the middle that are a bit too exposition-heavy, but that’s about it. It’s a surprisingly underrated film and one that proves that Bong Joon-ho is one of the best directors working today and I cannot wait to see his other films (especially Parasite) and what he does next.