‘Snowpiercer’- an Apocaliptic Triumph

Snowpiercer displays action scenes and ethical dilemmas that keep one’s attention throughout the entire film.

Movie reel

Photo by Denise Jans: The one thing saving what's left of the planet's population is a train called Snowpiercer, which circles the Earth endlessly without stopping. 

By Abigail Morin | armorin1@radford.edu

Climate change is a significant issue facing our planet. While there have been many movies, tv shows, and books centered around this topic, or more specifically the aftereffects, very few great films about climate change make it into the popular list; “Snowpiercer” is the exception.

The movie “Snowpiercer” falls under the post-apocalyptic category.

[epq-quote align=”align-left”]The movie “Snowpiercer” falls under the post-apocalyptic category.[/epq-quote]

“Snowpiercer” is set in 2031, 17 years after a failed attempt to cool down the Earth after it descended into a frozen wasteland where anything that touched the outside air froze to death. 

The one thing saving what’s left of the planet’s population is a train called Snowpiercer, which circles the Earth endlessly without stopping. 

The inventor of Snowpiercer, Mr. Wilford, is a hailed savior to all passengers on the train, except those of lower-income status. 

Snowpiercer is not immune to the social class system, and its leaders have taken extraordinary measures to ensure no cross-contamination between classes. Those who paid to be saved by Mr. Wilford were welcomed with open arms and are treated like the most honored guests.

[epq-quote align=”align-right”]The inventor of Snowpiercer, Mr. Wilford, is a hailed savior to all passengers on the train, except those of lower-income status. [/epq-quote]

Snowpiercer brings forward a list of well-known celebrities such as Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer, as well as action scenes and ethical dilemmas that keep one’s attention. I am often the culprit of being on my phone while watching a movie, but I was utterly captivated by the screen.

The director, Bong Joon Ho, did a pretty good job of filling as many plot holes as possible, in my opinion. 

However, try as he might, he still left a bit to ponder. My first thought while watching this was, “did any governments do anything to try and save the population once they realized the temperature was rapidly declining?” 

I find it hard to believe that countries worldwide would make a mistake that caused everyone in the world to be in peril and do nothing, leaving it to a train connoisseur to save whomever he wanted. I also thought, “were there no attempts to continuously measure the atmospheric temperature to tell if there was an increase or decrease in temperature?”

Throughout the movie, there are continuous discoveries that show humanity at its worst. 

[epq-quote align=”align-left”]Throughout the movie, there are continuous discoveries that show humanity at its worst. [/epq-quote]

One thing I realized partway through the film is there are no winners in this situation. Everyone is either high on authority with no humanity left or degraded and choked down to the point of having humanity stomped out of them. 

While one would like to believe people would be better and act better towards each other if this were to happen, I realize that would never happen. Ho does a great job at showing how brutal humanity truly is at its very core.

The films ending tone is, as the movie’s overall tone was, hopeful but depressing. Throughout the movie, you root for the revolt. You want the class system to be knocked down as much as the characters do. 

[epq-quote align=”align-right”]The films ending tone is, as the movie’s overall tone was, hopeful but depressing.[/epq-quote]

The plot twists and betrayals keep crushing you and then building you back up. The ending is no different.

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