Snowpiercer ★★★★

Snowpiercer is an exciting and emotionally involving action film from Bong Joon Ho that that also serves as a strong critique of capitalism and a warning about climate change. It does have its flaws and I think the film drags slightly at the beginning and end. It always takes some time to get into a movie anyway so the start isn't much of a problem for me but the ending definitely is. The final half hour contains two extremely long conversations which start off being relatively interesting but grow to become quite tedious. The closing shot with the polar bear has never fully worked for me either because it just looks so fake. However, more than a hour of the film which is spent moving up the train is absolutely perfect in its execution and this more than makes up for issues with the rest of the movie.

Each carriage on the train contains a brilliant action set piece that is masterfully directed. My personal favourite is the school classroom carriage which starts by showcasing the way in which people can be brainwashed from a young age and then leads to a massive shootout. The script is well written for the most part and intertwines real emotion, comedy, darker elements and political messaging. The violent action sequences are very stylish and I imagine Bong received some help from Park Chan Wook with this as he has a producer credit on the film. Chris Evans is fine if lacking a little charisma in the lead role but the rest of the performances are great with Tilda Swinton an obvious highlight.

Overall, Snowpiercer isn't in the same league as Parasite for example because it isn't consistent enough for the entire runtime. However, the bulk of the journey up the train is superbly delivered and the exhilarating action sequences and strong direction ensure that this is a movie which is well worth checking out.

2013 Ranked

Top 250 Films

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