Monday, June 1, 2015
With an abundance of teen films focusing on future dystopias I'm surprised more critics haven't complained about the subject, thankfully Snowpiercer feels like the adult version of those films, thus feeling more unique.While a revolt would be dragged out over the course of multiple movies if this were a young adult story, but here the revolt is what the film's first act sets up, while the third act ends the revolt, making the film's plot feel more important. With many films these days existing for franchises, there is no amount of gratitude I can give to director Bong Joon-ho for wisely choosing to make this a single film, the story doesn't need to be stretched out, therefore it doesn't.
Chris Evans leads this film as Curtis Everett, bringing to the table his Captain America skills, in fact, he feels like Captain America if Cap had been broken down by modern society, it's a great performance that becomes incredibly tragic by the films third act. Unlike many of the films I review, I found myself having an incredibly hard time thinking about the actors beyond the lead, not because they're bad or forgettable, in fact everyone gives great performances, but because the characters are often in and out the film, or scenes won't focus on specific characters for long stretches, the challenge became how can I describe the actors performances beyond they're great, I honestly could not, that's not a mark against the film, just something I had to conclude with. That being said Song Kang-ho and Go Ah-sung are perhaps the best performances outside of Chris Evans, I'm not sure if they've been in anything that I've seen before, but they do make the most of their roles. On a final note before I move away from the actors, I have to admit Ed Harris delivers an argument/speech that seems to have been echoed (to an extent anyways) by other villains in recent films where human survival plays a factor, the main difference is that the charm here seems to really make the choices feel right, despite how wrong they are otherwise.
Every revolt has its set of casualties, Snowpiercer has plenty, even within its main cast, giving the film plenty of twists and a sense of urgency that other films will rarely make, no one character was exempt from the possibility of being killed, making it more shocking to see who will survive. Leadership becomes the backbone to the story, holding everything together, the tough choices needed, Curtis' reluctance from being a leader and the ultimate outcome of the revolution are what drives the film, this isn't a movie about leading, but how hard it is to be the guy who has to lead. Everything this film illustrates feels very adult, not in the sense that its doing everything violently, or heavily using mature content, but the themes presented and how they're handled are very adult, I could imagine The Hunger Games crowd latching on to this as they grow up, largely because this feels like a much harsher representation of the subjects on display for that.
Snowpiercer is a film I hope gets more traction as the "Young-Adult" fanbase grows up, this is a film that deserves attention. While the harsh, grim tone may not sit well with some, there's no denying that it'll feel unique against the various dystopia films that have come out in recent years, even if it wasn't, it's still a film with great performances, writing and action. If you haven't seen this, I highly recommend you do, it's nice to see a film aimed for older audiences that is mature in its approach to story, this film is the real deal.
Written By Octaviano Macias