"Know your place, keep your place!"
"This time, we take the engine."
In 2031, a second Ice Age strikes the entire Earth, and the only place left to survive is the Snowpiercer, a massive train which circles around the globe and runs on perpetual motion.Snowpiercer
is a post-apocalyptic Science Fiction
film directed by South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho, director of Mother
, The Host
, and Memories Of Murder
, and is based on the French comic of the same name. It stars Chris Evans
, Song Kang-Ho, Ko Ah-Sung, Tilda Swinton
, John Hurt
, Ed Harris, and Jamie Bell, among others. It was scheduled to be released in Korea on August 1st, but was released a day earlier thanks to the great amount of interest in the film. About $40,000,000 was placed into the production of the film, making it the most expensive Korean film to date.
This film provides examples of:
- Adaptation Distillation
- Adaptation Expansion
- After the End
- Anyone Can Die: Characters are "spent" continuously in this film.
- Apocalypse How: Class 2, bordering on Class 3a.
- Assimilation Academy: The school section brainwashes the young children within to worship Wilford and to never get out of the train, or else they'd freeze and die.
- Bittersweet Ending : The train derails, killing nearly everyone, including the main characters. The only hope is embodied by Yona and Timmy.
- Brainwashed: This seems to be the fate of anyone who was taken from the tail section to be employed in the front sections.
- Closed Circle: Due to the outside world being completely frozen over, the entire premise is completely contained within the eponymous train. This is actually what Namgoong Minsoo wants to break free from.
- Cool Train: The eponymous train definitely qualifies, if only for the feat of running for 18 years literally nonstop through a frozen wasteland, swallowing the snow on the track and processing it into fresh water for its passengers as it goes, without anything worse than a few breakdowns from the onboard equipment during this whole time. It also holds a greenhouse car, an aquarium car (complete with a sushi bar), a pool car, a sauna car and a disco car among others, all drawn by a perpetual motion engine ( or so we think). Say what you want about the amorality of Wilford's utopia, you can't deny that he was one hell of an engineer.
- Dueling Movies: Is often compared to Neill Blomkamp's Elysium within Korea.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: The only two survivors in the end are Yona and Timmy.
- Fantastic Drug: Kronole, the stuff that two of the protagonists as well as some of the upper class rave about in a world where even cigarettes are extinct. It's also highly flammable industrial waste, which was why Minsoo wanted to collect the stuff to make a makeshift bomb.
- Friend or Idol Decision: In the battle between the rebels and the soldiers, Curtis either has to save his second-in-command, Edgar, or get his hands on the minister, Mason. He chooses to capture Mason at the expense of Edgar.
- Gone Horribly Right: The CW-7 chemical designed to end global warming did its job... but also started an Ice Age in the process.
- Heroic BSOD: Curtis has one when Gilliam is executed, and another when he realizes that his revolution was all for naught.
- The Idealist: Minsoo, surprisingly, as he was planning on escaping from the train altogether.
- I'm a Humanitarian: In the initial chaos of the tail section, people were forced to eat each other to survive. Curtis was one of those people.
- Locomotive Level: The movie plot is basically a non-videogame version of the trope, with a dystopia set inside a train with the poorest inhabitants (living in the tail) trying to reach the locomotive.
- Mid-Battle Tea Break: The battle between the tail-enders and the hooded mooks is interrupted by the announcement of the crossing of the Yekaterina Bridge, which prompts a countdown complete with "Happy New Year" wishes. Then, while the Snowpiercer lives up to his name and breaks through several snowdrifts on the track, everybody, friends and foes side by side, get down and brace for impact (Curtis even gets a wry grin from the mook next to him). When the crossing is over, the fight resumes as if nothing happened.
- Mood Whiplash: Takes a turn to the light-hearted once the main characters begin to explore the front sections, and turns back to serious when the bald man and the pregnant teacher start to shoot everyone with a gun.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The bomb used by Minsoo to open the exit door kills nearly everyone inside the engine, then the deflagration triggers an avalanche which sweeps the rest of the train off the track into the chasm below, effectively wiping out almost all of mankind (except Timmy and Yona).
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Wilford invites Curtis to have steak with him (while having him held at gunpoint by his assistant Chantal to ensure he doesn't do anything stupid) and proceeds to explain him how his rebellion was staged from the beginning out of necessity.
- Precision F-Strike: Minsoo uses this in the trailer.
- The Reveal: Several.
- The protein blocks that the tail section passengers fed on were made of cockroaches.
- Gilliam was actually cooperating with Wilford all along, and made sure that a rebellion would take place every once in a while so that the population within the tail section wouldn't go out of control.
- The two kids who were taken in the beginning of the film were taken because of their use as living parts of the engine. The engine was not perpetual all along.
- What Minsoo saw outside and didn't tell Curtis when he explained him about the ice and snow starting to melt is revealed at the very end: the polar bear is the proof that all life on Earth hasn't gone extinct.
- Token Minority: Namgoong Minsoo and Yona are the token Koreans, Tanya and Timmy are the token African-Americans.
- Tuck and Cover: When the Kronole bomb is about to detonate and the door of Wilford's lair refuses to close, Curtis and Minsoo do this together for Timmy and Yona, allowing them to survive the blast and the subsequent train wreck.
- We Can Rule Together / Passing the Torch: Wilford's offer to Curtis at the end of the film. At first, Curtis seems to accept... until he sees Tanya's son, Timmy, being used as a living part of the engine, at which point he beats the crap out of Wilford.