tek's rating: ½

Snowpiercer (R)
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This is based on a French graphic novel, which I haven't read. The movie came out in 2013, but I didn't see it until 2020. I watched it on the night that a TV series of the same name premiered (on a network I don't get). It's really at least as much an action film as a dystopian film, but then again I guess a lot of the movies I put in this category have a fair amount of action about them. Anyway, I guess I liked the movie, but not as much as I'd hoped I would. And I haven't got much to say about it.

In 2014, a chemical was released into the atmosphere that was supposed to stop global warming. Unfortunately, it did its job far too well, and the whole Earth ended up freezing to the point of being uninhabitable. So now the only humans left in the world are passengers on a sort of super train, which takes one year to make a circuit of the Earth. People who reside in cars closer to the front of the train live in luxury, while those toward the back live in squalor. A man named Curtis Everett (Chris Evans) leads a revolt, in which tail passengers have to make their way to the front of the train, to seize control of the engine from the train's designer, Wilford (Ed Harris). Curtis hopes that his mentor, an old man named Gilliam (John Hurt), would become the new leader of humanity, if the revolt succeeds, but Gilliam and everyone else already think of Curtis as their leader. Some of the people helping Curtis include his second in command, a young man named Edgar (Jamie Bell), who idolizes Curtis, though Curtis wishes he didn't; and a woman named Tanya (Octavia Spencer), whose son Timmy had been taken, along with another young boy, to the front of the train early in the movie, for a reason that doesn't become clear until near the end of the movie. There's also a man named Namgoong "Nam" Minsoo, who had designed the security on the train, so Curtis enlists him to help unlock the doors between the different cars of the train. In exchange, Curtis gives him some dangerous drug that Nam is addicted to. Nam also brings along his 17-year-old daughter, Yona, a clairvoyant who is also addicted to the drug. There are various other characters on both sides of the conflict, though I don't think we ever got to know most of them particularly well, aside from Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton), who is very cruel and a strict believer in the caste system, but who is eventually captured by the rebels and forced to help them. Of course, along the way there are plenty of battles, which I think are staged quite well, given the unique circumstances of the action.

There are some surprising twists revealed near the end of the movie, none of which I care to spoil. Overall, I thought the movie was fairly interesting, but it's not something I feel the need to ever watch again. And it made me feel like maybe I don't mind so much that I don't have the chance to watch the new TV series.


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