Snowpiercer is the most ridiculous and oversimplified movie about the caste system of living that I have ever seen. It's more in-your-face about the injustices of being forced to live in filth while others live in opulence than even Slumdog Millionaire, but unlike Slumdog, Snowpiercer's caste makes no goddamn sense whatsoever in either real-world or its own movie-world universe. It tries hard to say "this way of living is wrong!" but it's so retardedly pathetic about jamming its point down the viewer's throat that it turns its plight of the poor into a mockery of what it's attempting to convey. Not to mention that there is no way in fucking Hell that (even given the dumb-as-fuck setup that this movie calls a "plot") this kind of quickly tossed together social order would have ever worked in real life if non-2-dimensional people lived on the train that the whole movie takes part in.
Let me back up and tell you about the retarded plot of this thing. Oh, and get ready to see that word ("retarded") a lot. It's the most precise and clear word that I can think of to describe the batshit mongoloidation of this movie in every aspect that counts.
Snowpiercer starts off being about global warming (because Darfur, suicide bombings, and AIDS are too passé nowadays), and how scientists tried to counteract it by shooting rockets into the sky that seeded the heavens with Freon or clouds or some such shit, and then somehow the world was flash-frozen (we see that people became freezer-burned corpses in their cars in the opening scene — that's how fast the planet got turned into an ice-ball) to unlivable conditions, and every living creature on the planet died... except for those who got a golden ticket to ride on some rich guy named Wilford's perpetual motion-engined train. A train that runs on a track that spans the globe in one giant, unending loop of boredom... Just like watching this movie.
Anyway, HOW the people on the train actually made it TO the train in the first place (when we're shown that being exposed to the outside air could turn a man's arm into a frozen chunk of ice in only 7-minutes) is a mystery, and it doesn't matter. I'm willing to ignore giant plot holes like that as long as the narrative that we watch unfold is entertaining and well told, and as long as the characters aren't all a bunch of retards who overact worse than the entire cast of The Room.... Well, guess what... The plot is just an awful mess of whining that attempts to be a clever metaphor for equal class rights, and the whole cast either completely hams up their roles, or obviously just doesn't give two shits about what they're doing anyway. This is not a shot at the actors though, since we have some great ones like Chris Evans, John Hurt, and Ed Harris. Instead I point my finger of disapproval at director Bong Joon-ho, who also gave us the atrocious parable of US military might in South Korea known as The Host. But I digress.
Okay, so I'm willing to allow that somehow these several thousand people made it on board super-inventor and engineer Wilford's amazing, globe-spanning, wonder train (that's apparently so fucking slow that it takes a full goddamn year to travel its entire looping track, even though whenever we see the train moving [on a track that's covered in at least 8-feet of snow] it's hauling ass at what has to be 80-100 MPH)... I'll believe that. I've seen movies with dumber premises that I've liked. But as soon as they're all aboard, the passengers are broken up into "front-end richies," and "rear-end poor bastards."
The richies live in absolute opulence. The rich always dress fancy (even after living on this tiny train for 17 full years), they always have their hair done up all fancy, they always have glasses of alcohol in their hands, they have saunas, walk on lush carpets, and they dance in futuristic clown raves every night. The poor on the other hand live in filth in a bare metal boxcar, they never even get to shave, they drink their own piss, and they eat Jell-O-like protein bars whenever the front-enders deem to give them any kind of sustenance at all, otherwise they eat their own limbs. I'm not joking.
Okay, so the rich keep the poor rear-enders down (because this movie is a heavy-handed as all fuck allegory using the subtlety of a sledge hammer over our dumb heads to show that rich people are heartless, sadistic, and evil, and poor people are all 100% noble, sympathetic, strong, and good), and every so often they come into the rear cars to collect some small children, but then one day (after 17 goddamn years of this shit) the poor try to rise up and take over the train! Hurrah! So bearded Chris Evans gathers his people to go after and save the most recent child abductees, and murder a shit ton of rich people along the way. They find that the front-enders are being raised from birth to worship Wilford and his train as if it were a god, and they find that rich people assassins are as indestructible as the goddamn Terminator. Oh, and bearded Chris Evans also finds that he's a sharp-shooter with skills on par with Olympian riflemen even though he's never fired a gun for at least 17 years prior to the start of all this shit.
So bearded Chris Evans' crew mows down the evil richies car by car, he witnesses lush lifestyles that he hasn't seen since before getting railroaded into "coach" 17 years ago, and he collects a super security-gate engineer Korean guy (and the Korean guy's daughter) from the prison car so that he can unlock the electronically bolted doors that stand in the way between him and the engine car at the front of the train.
When they finally murder their way up to the train engine we then find out that not only is this flick a sloppy metaphor for class rights, but it's really just a terrible and retarded remake of The Matrix: Reloaded. You see, bearded Chris Evans is really Neo, John Hurt is Morpheus, and Ed Harris is the Architect, and the Architect tells Neo that the train is the only reality, and that he has been chosen to run it in the future, but to do so he must stop his initial quest to destroy it.
The Architect chose Neo for this task and he wanted him to make it to the engine car (despite sending wave upon wave of armed soldiers, and his own personal Terminator at Neo to murderize him) so that he could see the truth, and then choose his correct destiny. Guess what Neo bearded Chris Evans chooses... GUESS, damn you! Yup, he figuratively hawks a loogie in the Architect's face, but then his cool Korean buddy (the only guy I was rooting for in this whole movie) uses the narcotics made from explosives that he's been stealing from the rich the entire journey to blow a hole open in the train, causing an avalanche that kills everybody on the train but Korean buddy's daughter and one of the small children originally kidnapped from the rear cars... Then those two survivors go outside (to where that one guy had his arm stuck out into earlier in the film, which then caused it to become a block of ice after only being exposed to the elements for 7 minutes) and see a polar bear, and they know that things can live outside the train again... But they'll DIE anyway, because they're just children, and they're on a mountain, and there's still 30-feet of ice covering the whole goddamn planet. Oh, and a polar bear.
Now I will just post all the quick thoughts that I had about this movie as I watched it. It took us an extra hour to get through Snowpiercer because we were all either laughing too hard at the impossibleness of it, or we were just howling in delight over how retarded the characters/set-up/stage/script was, and we had to pause it so that I could write all this shit down. Here goes:
Whenever a front passenger or security guy does something super evil or unthinking we'd laugh, and the same goes for a rear passenger doing something ridiculously noble or just. If this is director Bong Joon-ho's actual thought process of how the world works as a whole, he needs to be set straight. I think he actually believes he's very clever and subtle in how he attempts to belittle the rich and powerful. It's like a violent Gosford Park here.
I think the super violence was supposed to be shocking and brutal, but it's simply laughable. Not once did we see some sort of terrible act executed on a poor rear-trainer and we were like "Oh no's! That's terrible!" My crew would simply laugh at how dumb or silly or just plain lame it was. Honestly, this weekend's episode of Doctor Who, where Osgood died a shitty death, got us worked up 10Xs more than any of the characters in this movie who had at least twice as much screentime as Osgood ever did in all the episodes she's been in combined. Bottom line: Bad deaths are comical deaths...
I have never been this let down by a movie I was expecting to love since... Fuck, I can't think of a time. Even Star Wars: Episode 1 had that pod race (which was alright) and Darth Maul to keep it from being a total 100% cluster-fuck.
According to the heavy handed allegory of this retarded vision, rich people make poor people eat babies. Literally eat babies. And the most noble of the poor people cut off their own arms so that others don't eat more babies.... I don't even.
When bearded Chris Evans and company gets to the school car for the richies, you find that the richies are just raising the next generation to be even bigger train-cultists than the original front-enders. It's so over-the-top ridiculous even though it's supposed to be a very serious movie. And no, it's quite obvious that director Bong Joon-ho was NOT trying to make a clever statement with this flick like Paul Verhoeven did with the original Robocop. And even if he was, he totally failed to make his movie clever, sharp, or really satire-riffic in the least. Fuck you, Bong Jooh-ho. You are no Verhoeven.
There is one purposefully funny portion of the movie where the security gate designer and his daughter (both future-drug crackheads) are walking through the first class dance parties and stealing a metric ass-ton of some sort of future drug whenever they come across it (which is every two steps... That shit is everywhere). That actually had a decent payoff... Although instead of saving everyone, the Korean security guy ended up MURDERING the entire train with this drug-turned-explosive. But whatever. Nice twist.
17 years of this train circling the world on this continuously looping ginormous track that really goes nowhere (I think that's the subtlest that director Bong Joon-ho can be with his symbolism), and it's freezing as Santa's ballsack outside (necessitating 6-inch transparent aluminum windows to keep the cold out), with feet of snow constantly covering up the whole planet, and no maintenance is ever needed on that track? Talk to a rail engineer to find out how bullshit that is.
Christ. I still have about 2 pages of this kind of thing, but this review is long enough as it is, and I think you get the point. The point being this movie is crap. Yes, I will admit that it looked pretty damn good, but director Bong Joon-ho is still a hack in my eyes. He is not a good filmmaker. He has a good cinematographer, sure, but he cannot make decent movies himself. He has great acting talent in this flick, but the final product is an over-the-top mess of rich-people-hatred with no obvious solution to the problem that he put on display. His answer to the problem of "the rich being assholes" is to blow it all up and let the survivors deal with an inhospitable Hoth-like landscape of Hell. If you're going to try and make a piece of social allegory, Bong Joon-ho, try to have an answer to your own questions of inequality issues. Otherwise you just look like a moron who doesn't know how to make a point.
In a word, this movie is "RETARDED."
Unfortunately the pure distilled redneck environs of the Rossman's home have finally destroyed his taste. Snowpiercer was a well executed — though a bit ham-fisted — take on the standard classicism struggle of the haves and have-nots.
The use of a train, and its distinct compartments as a way to show the progress through the tiers of society was well played. This along with the classic cinematography trick of using stage left and stage right for the different ends of the train, made for an effective method to move the story along. And I wouldn't call the characters "retarded." While I know their motivations aren't up to The Rossman's gold standard of "Where the beer and titties at?" I felt like the actors did a pretty good job of playing out the characters and the reasons why they were going to attempt to move forward on the train at all costs. "That guy who plays Captain Murica," as The Rossman would say, did a particularly good job.
(Notes from the Rossman: I fucking HATE Paul Blart, and Grown Ups, and Grown Ups 2, and Joe Dirt [which the Chief likes — take from that what you will], and every Adam Sandler movie since Big Daddy. Snowpiercer still sucks though.)
<* I am the greatest director of retards ever. Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola? They might have one retard in one movie, but I FILL my movie with retards.
Just look at The Host. The main character is mentally handicapped, yes, but his sister is retarded, as is [their] father. Brother is so dumb that he is borderline retarded too, so that is close enough. [The] little girl is a fucking retard too! So many retards! I even made the monster retarded. Who has retarded monsters in their movies? THIS guy does!
Oh, so in Snowpiercer I try to outdo myself with retarded people in my movies. I could not figure out what to do at first, but then the idea came to me like *Bam!* lightning! I would make the WHOLE ENTIRE PLOT of the movie retarded. You understand, I detest rich people even though I am one. I am rich, but all other rich people not in movie business are callous, evil sons of North Korea. I am not one of those evil rich people, I am nice; I must emphasize this. But all rich people outside of movies are evil. I know that I must make a movie about this, but I need to make the whole plot retarded so that I can be known as "the Retarded Filmmaker." And so, they gave me millions of dollars to make this movie about evil rich people. And then I do it. I make it. And, if I may say so myself, it is soooooooo retarded that it gives me a retarded baby!
*Translated from Korean