AD 2031: the passengers in the train are the only survivors on Earth; set in a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet; the only mode of survival is being aboard the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. Unfortunately a class system has evolved from the front to the back of the carriages.
Bong Joon-Ho’s American debut was always going to be an interesting spectacle, both in terms of the graphic novel he was taking the source material from (Le Transperceneige), and from the point of view of how well his particularly niched, culturally embedded South Korean directorial style would transfer to a western audience. Renowned for juxtaposing odd moments of (almost, …) slapstick humour, and dichotomously transitioning these moments with heavily serious natured themes, there is an accustomed need to comprehend the balance between these—sometimes polar-opposite–and randomly placed emotional aspects for the uninitiated. It is a great touch that demands finesse, but it is far more culturally specific to Joon-Ho’s home turf. This is very evident in Bong Joon-Ho’s more serious natured, and critically acclaimed films such as Memories of Murder and his monster movie The Host (both starring the amazing Song Kang-Ho). Continue reading