Captain America takes on a train that defies the laws of thermodynamics!

Featuring

Chris Evans as Curtis Everett
Song Kang-ho as Namgoong Minsu
Go Ah-sung as Yona
Jamie Bell as Edgar
John Hurt as Gilliam
with Ed Harris as Wilford
and Tilda Swinton as Minister Mason

Sometimes, something is so overhyped that no attempt to like it will prove to be successful. Snowpiercer is one such overhyped movie, in that everyone else seems to think it’s a big deal, but in reality, it’s a movie that’s based on an idea so nonsensical, you’ll wish that you were watching Transformers: Age of Extinction again. Or playing Solitaire.

Based on a French graphic novel of the same name, Snowpiercer follows the adventures of one Curtis Everitt, an inhabitant of the eponymous train, which journeys through a post-apocalyptic Earth. The apocalypse was caused by man attempting to arrest global warming by spraying a new chemical into the atmosphere. The planet ends up being so cold, that everything freezes to death.

Curtis and his buddies are trapped at the arse end of the train, where they’re forced to eat foul tasting protein blocks and live in squalor, having no opportunity to move to the front of the vehicle. They’re subjugated by armed soldiers and Minister Mason, an analogue of the late Margaret Thatcher, who periodically comes from the front of the train to yell abuse at people, under the orders of its designer and builder, the mysterious Wilford.

Naturally, those in the back of the train long to have some opportunity to get up the front, and a rebellion ensues, led by Curtis, on a mission to take control of the train’s engine, which powers the whole thing. Even more naturally, you’ll ask the following questions of the movie:

1. If the train possesses an energy source that is completely renewable, why do they continue to waste energy on travelling at high speed around the world?
2. Why is the Earth so damn cold? Sunlight gets through and surely must warm up the place
3. How the f*ck did they fit that aquarium inside the train?!
4. Why not stop the train at the equator, the warmest part of the Earth, and build a well insulated igloo for the survivors?
5. How come the train hasn’t detailed from smashing into solid f*cking ice at high speed yet?!
6. Do the children really have to be that annoying and obnoxious? Why doesn’t Curtis simply cut them down like the turds they are, and save us from the misery of having to listen to them?!

Look, I get that Snowpiercer is a commentary on the rich having all the power in society through their amassed wealth, and use it to subjugate the poor. I even liked certain scenes in the movie, as well as the visual style employed, a modern take on classic 1950s train aesthetics, with a bit of bleak dereliction blended in. That’s all brilliant. However, my engineer’s mind cannot abide by stupid story settings that employ plot magic to plough through solid plot blockers.

Snowpiercer could have been a really good movie. Unfortunately, it relies on too much suspension of disbelief to carry its serious and timely commentary. As it wears on, this continuous suspension of disbelief due to bad science becomes so irksome, that you begin to resent having to put up with it. It is purely a result of its source material, rather than the cast or the direction. I really tried to like the movie, but I just couldn’t because it falls apart at the first requirement: that of believability.

Rating

If you don’t mind having your intelligence insulted for two hours, this will go down well.

Should I watch this?

Look, the French have surrendered a lot in their history, and judging by the movie’s source material, it sounds like they’ve surrendered their grasp on reality as well. Don’t let yourself slip like they have, and go do something else with your time. Like combating global warming by recycling and turning off your heater.

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