+++ Opinion +++
A grim future in which humanity has completely driven the climate into a wall and must retreat to a train circumnavigating the globe: that is a premise that has proved amazingly productive. The post-apocalyptic graphic novel “Schneekreuzer” became both a critically acclaimed film and the series “Snowpiercer”. The format produced for the US broadcaster TNT with Jennifer Connelly had to survive a lengthy development process plagued by creative differences before it was launched.
Since then, the sci-fi series, which is based on Netflix in Germany, has been generating solid reviews – but it absolutely doesn’t come close to the film that was made before. However, while the series will remain on Netflix for the foreseeable future, the film will soon disappear from the streaming service: Snowpiercer is only available on Netflix until September 15, 2022so you should watch it quickly if it’s on your watch list.
Mankind wants to stop global warming by provoking an artificial onset of winter – with fatal consequences: the earth falls into a new ice age, all social structures collapse. The few survivors gather in a 650-meter-long train that circles the earth incessantly. There is a strict hierarchy on this train: in the rear part of the train, the poor pile up under the most horrid conditions, in the front carriages a few well-to-do people live in the lap of luxury.
When Curtis (Chris Evans) and Edgar (Jamie Bell) plan a riot to overthrow the inventor and ruler of the train, Wilford (Ed Harris), they enlist the help of imprisoned security specialist Namsoong (Song Kang-ho) — and soon learn a number of chilling truths about the system they live in… What follows is creative action, which ranked #35 in the DashFUN ranking of the best action movies of all time, and 62 in the DashFUN ranking of the best sci-fi movies!
Before Bong Joon-ho dedicated himself to the gap between rich and poor in his multi-award-winning satirical thriller “Parasite”, he already tackled this topic in a great way in “Snowpiercer”: Together with co-author Kelly Masterson, the South Korean top Director a very obvious, but also extremely astute social parable:
In “Snowpiercer” the social ladder is, so to speak, tilted from the vertical to the horizontal – many people of few means, through their effort and (involuntary) sacrifice, maintain a system that benefits a small handful. This is by no means new as a critique of capitalism, selfishness and oppressive regimes, but it is Rarely has salt been rubbed into the wound as rousingly, imaginatively and astutely as in “Snowpiercer”..
Bong Joon-ho sketches a wacky, stale future that doesn’t just play into the hands of the eclectic cast, which also includes Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer and Alison Pill. Because the ensemble, which is allowed to play prominently in this bitingly evil dystopia, cavorts in an unpredictable film world: Almost every wagon brings a new visual and sound aesthetic, so you never know what’s going to happen next. The only thing that is certain is that the social commentary will only intensify and you can expect memorable action every few minutes.
From dynamic hand-to-hand combat full of force to picturesque and bloody use of axes and knives to fast-paced shootouts and poetic, but also somewhat whimsical respites: “Snowpiercer” is an action grab bag in an unstoppable sci-fi vehicle that hammers important, unsightly observations into our minds with vigor and wit. You should have seen it – and you won’t soon forget it afterwards!