Snowpiercer is a movie adaptation of the dystopian sci-fi graphic novel “Le Transperceneige,” by Jacob Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette. The film takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth, where humanity has made a failed attempt to reverse the effects of global warming; instead, they’ve brought on the next Ice Age and left the planet largely uninhabitable – save for aboard the Snowpiercer, a train powered by a perpetual-motion engine (where the surviving humans reside).
Chris Evans (Captain America) plays one of the train’s passengers, who resides with the other lower-class individuals in the cramped and unsanitary rear cars of the Snowpiercer; meanwhile, the more privileged passengers – whose ranks include Tilda Swinton – live in comparative luxury, in the comfortable and well-kept portions of the train. A revolution begins to take shape, led by Evans – but will it change anything?
Snowpiercer is the English-language debut for Korean filmmaker Joon-ho Bong (The Host), who co-wrote the script alongside Kelly Masterson (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead). The supporting cast includes John Hurt (Immortals), Octavia Spencer (The Help), Ed Harris (Pain & Gain), Jamie Bell (The Adventures of Tintin) and Alison Pill (The Newsroom).
The Snowpiercer international trailer suggests that Bong and his production team have created an impressively bleak and grimy version of the future, as populated by a very talented cast of character actors and actresses. It’s difficult to gauge what Swinton is saying – due to the trailer’s editing and her accent in the film – but she appears to be a worthy menacing and diabolical opponent for Evans and his fellow under-priviledged civilians. Similarly, the Wilford “character” could make for a good variation on the usual Big Brother archetype.
Problem is, Snowpiercer arrives at a time when there’s an over-abundance of thinly-veiled futuristic sci-fi parables about social inequality on the market (see: Elysium, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, etc.). Hopefully, Bong will prove to be an effective storyteller – even while making the jump to English – and bring something new to the ongoing “discussion,” in the process.
Snowpiercer doesn’t have an official U.S. theatrical release date yet, but is expected to arrive before 2013 draws to a close.
Source: CJ Entertainment International
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