Snowpiercer (2013) Great if you like trains, meh if you don’t.

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Starring: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, and Kang-ho Song

 

Korean movies/dramas are another guilty pleasure of mine. I’ve been watching Kang-ho Song since I was a wee kid. Loved him in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and Gwoemul (2006). Didn’t know he was in Snowpiercer (2013) until that first snort of kronol. A happy revelation, to be sure, because Chris Evans’ halfhearted “I’m not a leader!” proclamations (despite being the only white dude with the most lines/action sequences and prophetic-like story arc) was starting to bore me. Can we also give a hand to Octavia Spencer and Ah-Sung Ko? Well-done.

This is a KOREAN movie. Don’t let the big-name American actors fool you. The phenomenal, racially diverse cast are a refreshing change of pace. The fighting sequences are glorious, the wacky plot gnaws on big ideas concerning class and privilege, and Tilda Swinton was bloody fantastic. And there’s trains. And pregnant ladies with machine guns. And Ed Harris. What’s not to like?

Well, there’s quite a bit not to like after 2/3 of the movie. The ending was phoned in. I rolled my eyes several times. The story isn’t great, OK? But who cares? It’s an action movie masquerading as transgressive filmmaking. Just roll with it (pun intended…cuz we’re talking about trains, remember?)

I don’t know whether to give this a B or C. Snowpiercer aimed too high and missed the mark for me, but I was never bored while watching this film and despite the plot-holey ending, I enjoyed the ride. Oh, hell. Let’s just give it a B. If you’re in the mood for a peculiar and funny thriller, Snowpiercer (2013) is for you!

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