Snowpiercer was supposed to be a studio release starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, and John Hurt, but the Weinstein’s and the director had different visions. The disagreement left the film touring the festival circuit and languishing in limited release. Even though it had a lot of hype it was quite hard to find.
In the present, not future, humans try to reverse climate change. It works too well and throws the planet into an ice age. Snowpiercer is the train which circumnavigates the globe each year. It presumably holds the last humans on earth. The last minute surge of riders trying to escape the cold has caused a repressive class structure to develop on the train. This is the story of that struggle. It is a magnifying glass on our world and on our behavior. This isn’t fun. The exaggerations are for emphasis not comedy. You may even begin to wonder where you would sit on the train.
The train overflows with fantastic performances and familiar faces. Director Joon Ho Bong brought in great Korean actors Kang-ho Song (find all of his films) and Ah-sung Ko. This is a fantastic gateway to Korean cinema for those of you who haven’t explored it. Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, and Allison Pill have very memorable turns. Find that film.