Saturday, July 05, 2014


         Forget the latest installment of that noisy, repetitive Hollywood robot movie and treat yourself to an incredibly original science fiction film that you will label an instant classic. Famed Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host) makes his English language debut with this exciting, funny and smart sci-fi adventure.

          In the near future mankind attempts to stop global warming but instead sends the earth into a deep freeze that wipes out the majority of the planet. Survivors circle the globe on a high speed train called "Snowpiercer" where the poor are forced to live in squalor at the tail end and the rich live in the luxurious front end. Seeking better living conditions and equality for all, a plot is hatched by a rebellious lower class to break through the train and take over the engine. Sounds like a simple enough plot but this is no ordinary train and Mr. Joon-ho is no ordinary director.

         As the rebels move deeper through the train, the film gets weirder and weirder with each train car, a one of a kind set piece. The visuals are amazing and the action scenes are made even more exciting by the claustrophobic nature of the train. Mr. Joon-ho balances scenes of extreme violence with scenes of beauty and humor throughout the film.

          Chris Evans (fresh from playing Captain America) plays Curtis, the reluctant anti-hero of the rebellion. Jamie Bell plays his sidekick, Edgar. John Hurt is Gillam, the wise old mentor and Korean superstar Song Kang-ho is Namgoong Minsu, a mysterious character needed by the rebels and Ko A-sung is his daughter Yona. Octavia Spencer and Allison Pill are also aboard in very original roles. There is also a surprise cameo by a very recognizable dramatic American actor that I won't spoil and completing the great casting is the remarkable, unrecognizable Tida Swinton as Minister Mason, who provides much of the film's humor.

            Without the big bucks of Hollywood to promote this film, you won't find it playing multiple times a day in multiplexes but search for it while it's still on the big screen and you will be rewarded with the summer's most original and fun film so far.

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