Sunday, May 31, 2015

Snowpiercer 2013 7 out of 10 (Weird and interesting)

Snowpiercer 2013   7 out of 10

Going in totally Blind:  I knew absolutely nothing about this movie before watching it.  I had just heard in general that this was a Sci fi film worth checking out-  but for once I literally knew nothing about what I was going to watch at all.   I hadn't even seen the trailer so I was completely flying blind as to what this movie was about going in.  I just knew that it was Sci-fi and that Captain America (Chris Evans) was the star.  It is refreshing to go into a movie with no expectations at all.  --yet that didn't help me decide how I even felt about it.

The Plot:   The story is about a future where humanity has basically caused an ice age with their ill conceived attempts to avoid global warming.   One forward thinking inventor predicted this happening and built a super train called the Snowpiercer that continually travels around the globe.  The concept of the movie itself is pretty silly to buy into in the first place - but it you put the absurdity of the concept aside it makes for a strange and wonderful setting for a interesting and really strange film.  The train is basically a Noah's arc carrying what is left of society concept has been used before in many Sci-fi with a spacecraft carrying the last of humanity to a new world.

It took me sleeping on it to be able to nail down how I felt about it:

This was the odd kind of film that when you finish it you don't really know exactly how you feel about it.  
It was good -but not great. 
It was really interesting - but yet totally flawed.  
I wanted to go to the internet and find out how in the world it got a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes?   I'm a sci-fi fan and so I can see and understand what people really loved about it --yet I can't see the average person liking this film at all.   So I pulled up IMDB reviews to see what some other people thought....and reading some reviews there people were ripping it to shreds.  
Where do I fall on this film??  

My problems with the film:  
1.  The story itself was nonsensical.   Literally nothing about the movie makes logical sense from a reality based point of view.   I agree with one reviewer from Norway on IMDB that listed out at least 25 things that made no sense at all.  He is totally correct and if you look at this movie from any realistic point of view --the movie will be a failure for you.... I can totally see how some people love this movie and call it brilliant and other people think it is total crap.

2.  The film was a little on the long side.  It is never a good thing when you are watching a movie and feel the need to check and see how much longer you have to go to get to the end. That is probably the biggest factor in the film not getting a bigger rating from me.  It could have been about 25 minutes shorter.

3.  Watching this film ---I thought "I bet a book version of this  would be good"  Okay so that is actually kind of a compliment --but a backhanded one in that what I mean by that is that -- "The book is probably a lot better than the movie".

What I liked about it:
1.  The movie is totally bizarre and strange sci-fi.   I tend to like weird and interesting sci-fi movies where you don't exactly know what is really going on and this movie is definitely that.   If you are able to suspend your disbelief at the silly plot that has so many holes that it should derail this train ride --then there is definitely some excellent stuff to get out of the film.  In order to like this film you have to be able to completely throw out common sense and completely suspend your disbelief in what you are seeing.   Think of it as a comic book (it is based on a graphic novel after all)
If you get caught up in the trap of thinking  "That makes no sense"  or "that couldn't happen"  you will not like this film.

2.  Despite the concept of the train being so unrealistic--the train makes for a great setting for a story.   This is why I said a book version would  be great. The goal of the film of the lower class  at the back of the train fighting their way up the body of the train to the top not so subtle message about society.   The different sections of the train make for interesting and intriguing set pieces for the story.  The train setting also reinforced the notation of all the passengers --no matter which class being trapped on the train because of the claustrophobic nature of the train itself.  Like many sci-fi movie it was a look at society in an unusual setting.  The lower class at the end of the train dreamed of making their way to the front --while the passengers at the front lost themselves in overindulgent behavior --like drugs and parties.   It was definitely weird.   

3.  The main character played by Chris Evans --makes his way to the front of the train and its creator and basically finds out the many truths behind the train which I won't reveal in full because it would spoil things.   I felt at times like this movie was an episode of the old BBC series The Prisoner.   There is a definite --- "You are number 6"  vibe to the film.

Influences:  I personally saw a lot of  the Prisoner as a main influence for the film.   I can see other influences such as Hunger Games especially in Tilda Swinton's character which was just like less glamorous Effie in Hunger Games.  Metropolis is another influence that I've seen many people mention with tiny bit of Terry Gilliam thrown in as well.   In fact there was a character called Gilliam which I thought was a direct homage to him in the film (but I could be wrong). 

I would recommend this film to true sci-fi fans.
I would not recommend it to the average movie fan that

Here is the trailer

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