Snowpiercer (2013) - Joon-ho Bong
In the near future, Global Warming has become the number one threat to humanity. In an effort to slow down the effects of Global Warming, Mankind accidently increases its effects, killing nearly all life on earth. The only survivors now live on Snowpiercer, a massive train that travels around the globe, where conditions are incredibly poor under the strict class system. Joon-ho Bong's Snowpiercer is by far the directors most accessible film, delivering an action-packed story that wears its thematic intentions like a badge of honor. This is the type of thinking man's blockbuster that Hollywood should be embracing, a film that works as escapism while still having something to say. On a thematic level, the central conflict of Snowpiercer revolves around a pessimism vs. optimism approach to humanity, with the film openly exploring this debate in a fascinating and refreshing way. The film understands that no one is innocent or free of darkness in a post-apocalyptic scenario, not even its main protagonist, Curtis, a reluctant leader who wants to restore equality and empathy to a system that shows little of either to anyone. Through Curtis, Snowpiercer introduces fascinating ideas and discussions about society and humanity, constantly keeping the viewer guessing as to how it will end. Snowpiercer is the type of film that offers unique challenges from a cinematography and production design perspective being that it takes place in the narrow confines of a train. Due to this fact, Joon-ho Bong shoots the entire film with a great sense of depth of frame, effectively bringing the narrow confines to life, capturing the vast depth of the journey that lays in front of its main protagonists. Each car of the train is different from the last, only aiding in making Snowpiercer a constantly unique and engaging experience. Snowpiercer is probably Joon-ho Bong's least interesting film but what it is able to achieve considering its summer blockbuster dna is impressive nonetheless.
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