Thursday, 10 December 2015

Snowpiercer (2013)

The world is plunged into an ice age and all life goes extinct: except for a tiny remnant of humanity that made it aboard some kind of super-train that is a technological marvel.  Unfortunately, life on said train turns out to be almost worse than the alternative.

This is a stylish action film in an evocative if highly-improbable setting.  And if you agree to completely turn off your brain and just enjoy the pretty (albeit grim and dystopian) pictures, you'll probably have a decent time.  Hence the qualified recommendation.

On the other hand, no matter how willing you are to just accept every bit of nonsense the script throws at you, I'm almost certain there is going to be a moment where your suspension of disbelief throws its hands in the air and says "I'm out of here!".  Which is why the qualified recommendation is really, really, really qualified.  As in the "This movie actually makes me angry, because it is so well made and yet so utterly stupid" kind of qualified.

For me the tipping point came pretty much about the moment where the hero and his heretofore faceless nemesis finally meet.  Don't get me wrong, I'd rolled my eyes a bunch of times before that at the magic train and the many misery-for-the-sake-of-it elements of the setting, but it wasn't until I got to that point and they confirmed that they were really going to go for the silliest, most contrived and asinine explanation for everything, that I went from "determined to enjoy it despite it being nonsense" to "verbally abusing the television".

And the less said about the supposed-to-be-uplifting-but-actually-we've-somehow-managed-to-make-everything-worse-than-the-crapsack-world-we-had-before final two minutes, the better.

So: it's very pretty and quite inventive, and Chris Evans does a great job in the lead role.  But it is is utterly, utterly stupid and futile and if you'll pardon the expression, it goes completely off the rails in the last half hour.

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