Snowpiercer (2013)

While we’re so frequently being bombarded with remakes and the cheap lifeless equivalent of movie shovelware, I take solace in the fact that some film makers are still doing something a little .. different.

In the near future, mankind tries to correct global warming by releasing a gas into the atmosphere.  The end result is catastrophic – the entire planet enters a new ice age, the only survivors being passengers on a perpetually globetrotting train.  The passengers at the end of the train live in squalor, fed on protein jelly made from minced insects while the ones at the front live a life of luxury and excess.  Obviously this leads to resentment and plans to take over the train, and the film could so easily have turned into an action movie at this point.

It doesn’t.

There is action of course  – but in reality you’re taken on a trip into the unknown, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole.  At the bottom you find the kind of surreal world you’d expect in a Terry Gilliam film, you find the violence and akwardness of new Korean cinema, and you find a very calculated take on the role of the individual in a social structure or ecosystem.

If you enjoyed any of Brazil, Metropolis or Old Boy you’ll probably find something in here to like.  Yes it could have been made in a much more ‘traditional’ way so that mainstream audiences could digest it, but honestly it would have been ruined as a result.