SOUND OFF

Sound Off: Bong Joon-ho's 'Snowpiercer' - So What Did You Think?

by
June 30, 2014

Snowpiercer Sound Off

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "We control the engine, we control the world." It is finally in theaters - uncut, brutal, brilliant! Radius-TWC has starting showing Bong Joon-ho's long-awaited sci-fi movie Snowpiercer, set entirely on a train traveling around a frozen world, in select theaters around the US (full list here). Chris Evans leads an eclectic but enriching ensemble cast including Song Kang-ho, Ko Ah-sung, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Alison Pill and Ed Harris. So how is it? Does it live up to the hype? Is it truly a masterpiece? Are other characters given enough time? If you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer.

Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this movie!

To fuel this train, I love love love Snowpiercer, it's a masterpiece of sci-fi filmmaking that reverberates with originality and intensity. It's exciting, smart, visceral, gritty, brutal, but often brilliant, and is one of the best films that Bong Joon-ho has made (and I really really love all of his past films too - Memories of Murder, The Host and Mother). There are some moments that I feel might've been lost in translation and the ending isn't what I was expecting, but I'm still satisfied with the movie we did get, and I am once again impressed by Bong Joon-ho. I really do love this movie. I wrote this in my glowing review at the Berlin Film Festival:

In all truth and honesty, Snowpiercer isn't a movie that every audience will enjoy, but it is a film that some will love completely. The set design by Ondrej Nekvasil is spectacular, and will be analyzed and studied for years to come. The score by Marco Beltrami is fitting and provides an additional bit of energy when needed. The cinematography by Hong Kyung-pyo is extraordinary, with numerous stunning shots. The performances are all distinct and Evans, Spencer, Swinton & Kang-ho in particular are exceptional. I am so glad that after years and years of waiting, I can say Snowpiercer lives up to expectations, and is a sci-fi film that will be heralded as one of the best this decade. An ambitious story told perfectly by a master filmmaker.

Snowpiercer

So what did you think of Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer? Sci-fi masterpiece or a messy failure?
We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!

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  • DAVIDPD
    I have seen it three times. Once in theaters, and twice while riding the bus. Every time it was great. I really enjoyed the video game structure it had and the hokey parts were all very fun. I would have to say the ending left a little to be desired. I felt it was too clean. But the fight sequences were epic, the pacing was on point and the environment was pitch perfect.
    • cjohnston
      ~ While I do (and can) appreciate your observation(s) pertaining to this films ending; I am inclined to convey; with all the most sincere, professional, and courteous intentions possible - that maybe such an ending is intentional..? lol
  • McWetty
    I liked it from the opening sequence until the point where the bomb went off. That's when it all... Derailed for me. I can't really explain why, but it did the rest of the movie a total injustice. Just a 7.5 from me. Sorry, but not the epic masterpiece I had heard it would be.
    • Linkfx
      So until the end of the film?
      • McWetty
        Yes. The ending wasn't the finish I thought the movie deserved. I didn't want a big Hollywood explosion or anything, but something more than just a derailing. Maybe a 10 second epilogue would have sated me.
  • Richard Smith
    The ending sucked...bad. Tilda Swinton had the only really interesting character.
  • Maxx
    I absolutely adored this film. It somehow captured the epic feel of a post-apocalyptic film but still had the intimacy and charm of an indie film. I have been a big fan of Korean films for awhile including Bong Joon-ho's. Especially The Host. This felt like a foreign film but it still had some Western actors to catch the attention of some of the less international of film fans. The stand out performance was Blanchett and I was so happy to see her having such a great time playing an over the top villain but bringing a sincerity to the character that you believed the performance. Everyone that I know that has seen it has brought up issues with the ending. I get it. It doesn't leave a satisfying feeling for everyone. But that is kind of the point, I think. Personally, I thought it was brilliant. I didn't think so upon the first viewing but after the second, it won me over. Just for those two to see the proof of life outside of The Train made it worthwhile. This is easily one of my favourite sci-fi films.
    • cjohnston
      ~ I LIKE (a-LOT!) where your coming from (and going) with your comments and observations here.... ..i've had near VERBATIM similar thoughts when reading an unfortunate amount of other individuals opinion(s) 'bout this feature.. ~ To "dig into" your remarks regarding the ending a little deeper here: *I, personally, have been (still AM..) of the opinion that quite a Lot about this film - Including the ending is perhaps(!) more symbolic (NOT necessarily {only} in the religious sense either..) than a great many of the masses are either realizing/grasping (admittedly *to whomever this particular statement applies too*, this DOES sound rather haughty and quite "holier-than-thou". Advance and sincere apologies for this(!). ~ Interestingly, i find myself partially thinking of this film in the same thought(s) as Cloud Atlas. NOT to say, by ANY means.., that SNWPRCR is (necessarily) BETTER - ....or WORSE.. Instead, BOTH of these films accomplish a feat that soo many other films (today) fail to pull off. EACH of them "Forces" the viewer (each in their own, VERY unique ways) to actually THINK about and CARE about the story as well as each and every individual character therein...
    • cjohnston
      ~ I LIKE (a-LOT!) where your coming from (and going) with your comments and observations here.... ..i've had near VERBATIM similar thoughts when reading an unfortunate amount of other individuals opinion(s) 'bout this feature.. ~ To "dig into" your remarks regarding the ending a little deeper here: *I, personally, have been (still AM..) of the opinion that quite a Lot about this film - Including the ending, is perhaps(!) more symbolic (NOT necessarily {only} in the religious sense either..) than a great many of the masses are either realizing/grasping (admittedly *to whomever this particular statement applies too*, this DOES sound rather haughty and quite "holier-than-thou"). Advance and sincere apologies for this(!). ~ Interestingly, i find myself partially thinking of and comparing this film to a certain degree to and with Cloud Atlas. NOT to say, by ANY means.., that SNWPRCR is (necessarily) BETTER - ....or WORSE.. Instead, BOTH of these films accomplish a feat that soo many other films (today) fail to pull off/accomplish. EACH of them "Forces" the viewer (each in their own, VERY unique way) to actually THINK about and CARE about the story as well as each and every individual character therein... ps. - BY FAR............one of my sci-fi favorites as well..
  • Avi
    I was very impressed by it and one of the best sifi movies ever!
  • Mr Chatterbox
    Without doubt an interesting blockbuster and some great characters. Shame on the Weinsteins for holding on to this and damaging its distribution chances. I look forward to seeing more from this gang of filmmakers.
  • cjohnston
    LOVED LOVED LOVED this film!!! - just about; ...EVERYTHING imho in this thing was Bonkers GREAT.! *(have) seen it (already) a few x's. Initially wasn't too sure (since its intellectual/has a beating heart to it and all) - if it would be pulling in(to) any "stations" around closeby. It IS ~ *fist-pump!!* -- I am going to try to do EVERYTHING I can (..save perhaps sell ..my house... ..my car, ...........my insurance policy.. etc.) to see this AT LEAST once more.
  • hooch
    It was really interesting and unique, but I'm not sure it's the earth-shattering film that some blogs are making it out to be.
  • Peter T'Sas
    Excellent movie. But after the crash, surely everyone else on that train is stone-dead. The survivors will be eaten by ice-bears. Humanity definitely ends there.
  • Chris Flowers
    Terrible. On my list of worst films.

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