‘You know what I hate about myself? I know what people taste like. I know babies taste the best…’
Like most people of my generation I love the classic action/sci-fi films released in the 80s and 90s. Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, Aliens through to more straight forward action like Die Hard, the 80s and 90s really were a golden era for the action genre. One of the reasons those films are so loved is that they took themselves so seriously. The Expendables franchise is entertaining but it is too knowing. The magic of cheesy films is that they don’t know they are cheesy.
Snowpiercer harks back to that glorious period with a gusto that feels like a throwback to a bygone age. Like if Hunger Games was directed by Terry Gilliam. Chris Evans, Jamie Bell and William Hurt all throw themselves into their roles and the constant, high octane action also brings to mind the recent Mad Max reboot. Best of all perhaps is Tilda Swinton whose Lancastrian accent places her straight out of a League of Gentlemen sketch.
The last of the worlds survivors are holed up on a constantly running train due to a global warming related disaster. The class system renders those in the nose of the train in constant poverty and Chris Evans leads a chaotic uprising with the help of Bell and his mentor William Hurt. It is a brave concept to have a two hour long film take place exclusively on a train but director Bong Joon Ho ensures that excitement levels remain high.
Despite being a warning against global warming, Snowpiercer never becomes preachy and instead sticks to being an enthralling and chilling science fiction parable and it is all the better for it.