Snowpiercer (2013) Review


Is Snowpiercer a perfect marriage of Korean quirk and big budget Hollywood?

You could easily make this assumption when researching this movie before watching, original setting
check, Hollywood rags to riches tale check, original filming styles check, Hollywood casting check
But there are valid arguments on either side of this film.

Snowpiercer manages to give a larger audience to the quirk and freshness of Korean direction but
sadly falls in the last quarter to dull Hollywood endings and wrap ups.

The story starts with a summary of the historic events that have brought us to this present day.
Global warming continued to increase rapidly and mankind decided to try to their own mistakes by
firing a cooling chemical into the atmosphere, of course this went wrong and bought about an
apparent new ice age. This in turn wiped out the human race except for the ones who managed to board
the train.


A intercontinental transport railway that travels the planet non-stop on a continuous track. Created
by the mysterious Wilford and using the almost ethereal eternal engine. We are introduced to the people
of the tail carriage, a very Dickensian dirty slum area where the inhabitants live off black protein
bricks and work like miners in the dirt. Policed by armed guards and with the disobedient having their limbs
brutally amputated by way of freezing. We learn that a revolt has been in planning for a while and is
soon to be realised.

Revealing anymore of the plot would damage the enjoyment and discovery of this film. My favorite part of
the movie though is the train, a character in its very own right, each carriage has its own purpose, style,
colour scheme and secrets, and they are each a lot of fun to watch being explored by our rag tag bunch
of revolutionaries. Which, by halfway through, includes two Korean drug addicts that are security experts.


One particular scene has the group traversing through an aquarium carriage which is truly stunning.
At the end of the carriage is a sushi bar and it is explained that sushi is only served twice a year as a
way of keeping the fish at optimum levels for the trains Eco-system, a very obvious metaphor for the train

Some traits of director, Bong Joon-Ho, that I have come to enjoy have found their way into this movie, these are the
ability to find humor in extreme moments of horror and leaving a lot of thinking up to the viewer. I am
by no means the most intelligent person and sometimes its nice when a movie holds your hand but also
I enjoy being challenged and having to work out some stuff myself and that is exactly what Bong Joon-Ho excels

Apart from what I considered a dull ending I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and will definitely be
picking it up to watch again. The first 1h30 is a perfect English language transition of Korean quirk and

Mark Ryan





One thought on “Snowpiercer (2013) Review

  1. It’s the kind of movie that has a weird premise, and rather than backing off of it, it goes deeper and deeper into its own weird psychology and for that, it works. Good review.

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