Sound Off: Bong Joon-ho's 'Snowpiercer' - So What Did You Think?
by Alex Billington
June 30, 2014
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.
So what did you think of Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer? Sci-fi masterpiece or a messy failure?
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