SNOWPIERCER: I hated, hated, hated, hated, HATED this movie.

large_snowpiercerI’m not sure how to write this post.

I’m prone to hyperbole, right?  I know this about myself.  I also tend to get infectious about my own strong opinions; if I love something, I love the hell out of it, and my dislike can tend to go to extremes quickly too.  So I have to be on guard against my own tendencies in these manners, particularly when I want to write about things I either liked or didn’t like. I have to be careful to avoid overstating reality, or people will stop taking me seriously.

I watched Snowpiercer with my wife last night.  I should be clear about something: this was my idea.  I felt like a Sunday night movie, and I’d heard nothing but good things about this movie– which, as I’ll probably point out repeatedly in this review, currently has a ninety-five percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  That doesn’t happen very often.

The problem, here, is that this is the dumbest goddamn movie I’ve ever seen.  The. Dumbest. Movie. I’ve. Ever. Seen.

Adam Sandler in the main role could not have made this movie dumber.  In fact, he might have improved it, because putting Adam Sandler in your title role indicates that you do not want your film taken seriously, and Snowpiercer so badly wants to be taken seriously.

I do not know what to do with people who liked this movie.  It’s as if, to steal a line from John Cole, I suggest having Italian for dinner and you suggest we go eat tire rims and anthrax instead.  I don’t know where to go from there.  We’re not even speaking the same language.

Wait, I know.  I can pick a review and mock the hell out of it. That’ll work.

Here is what you need to know about the premise of Snowpiercer.  I am not trying to make this sound dumber than it is.  The premise is exactly this dumb:

  • Global Warming!
  • Global warming is fought with… contrails.  (Sin #1, less than a minute into the movie.)
  • The contrails plunge the entire planet into a deep freeze that, and I’m quoting the movie as directly as my memory allows, kills all life on Earth.  I don’t think that’s an exaggeration.  I’m pretty sure that’s close to exactly what they said.
  • It does this without blocking the sun, which… uh… is manifestly impossible.  But every outside scene in the movie is in bright daylight.
  • ANYWAY!  Thank God for rich guys!  A rich guy figures out how to save some number X of human beings!
  • By… putting them on a train, which runs endlessly around the world, for seventeen years by the time the movie starts.

That’s it.

That’s really the premise.

That’s a fucking stupid premise.

It’s an insanely stupid premise.   It’s a massively incredibly unbelievably horrifyingly stupid premise and a seventh grader should be ashamed of it.  But somehow this got green lit, and it’s 95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, because the world no longer makes sense.  The movie is literally beyond stupid before it even starts.  And it never, ever, ever gets better.

I seriously can’t decide if I want to go moment-by-moment through my recollection of the movie and mock it scene by scene or tear a review to shreds.

Let’s start with this one.  It’s representative enough.

It’s so hard to describe how amazing “Snowpiercer” is without giving away everything that makes it amazing.

Well, yes.  Part of describing amazingness is… uh, describing amazingness.

At the tail end are the have-nots: the dirty, hungry and oppressed who are crammed together, doing whatever they must to live another day. For the most part, these are decent folks who’ve learned to co-exist peacefully, if miserably — but desperation does scary things to people, and the recounted examples of sacrifice are chilling.

Let’s talk about this.  The train is divided into the Front and the Back, and if you watch the trailer you can hear Tilda Swinton’s character tediously lecturing them about how this is supposed to work.  Now, this is important: in the trailer, this is delivered over booming dramatic music.  In the movie, it’s delivered against silence, and includes a horrifyingly stupid metaphor about how shoes are not hats and it goes on forever and it is terrible.

Don’t let me forget about that “precisely 74% of you shall die” line, btw.

Anyway.  Right.  Here’s the thing: those people in the back, who are oppressed and eating protein bars and wearing dirty clothes and who revolt against the rich 1%ers (Ooh!  Impressively subtle social commentary!) in the front?  They’re on the train for no fucking reason at all.  They do not do anything.  There is no goddamn reason for them to fucking be there at all other than they need them for a dystopia.  This isn’t the proletariat revolting against the bourgeoisie; the bourgeoisie depend on the proletariat.  The back-of-the-trainers produce nothing for anyone.  They have no jobs, no responsibilities, no nothing.  They just sit back there and eat.

They are not decent folks.  They are boring nothing-people, because the movie makes them that way.

But let’s move on.

Swinton is a hoot playing a truly awful human being, but being the thoughtful and versatile actress that she is, she finds a way into this cruel and condescending figure without devolving into caricature.

I need you to understand that if this character is not a “caricature” than “caricature” no longer has any meaning as a word.  She’s every mean schoolmarm you’ve ever heard in your life.  That’s all she is.  I have no idea why she ever interacts with the back-people, because, again, there’s no reason for them to be there.

So, yeah, there’s a rebellion:

They’re ultimately aiming for the front and for the man who not only invented the train but placed everyone inside of it: the wealthy and powerful Willard, who’s regarded with equal amounts of admiration and contempt, depending on whom you’re asking.

Now, this needs to be made clear:  they have to go through every single car of the train to get to the front.  By the time they get there, the “revolution” is down to Chris Evans and two other characters, one of whom is weirdly and inexplicably a little psychic and the other only speaks… Korean, maybe? except when it is convenient for him to speak and/or understand English.  Sometimes he has a little device that translates for him.  Sometimes he doesn’t.  The language barrier is another of the ways in which the film is stupid.

Now, not all of the Back People are gonna be warriors.  Okay. But… maybe more than five of them try to go to the front of the train?  What the fuck is Chris Evans gonna do by hisgoddamnself up there?  Maybe everybody goes to the front of the train!

Nope.

Seeing who plays him is one of the film’s many exciting discoveries.

Ed Harris.  It’s Ed Harris.

The “exciting discovery” is Ed fucking Harris.

Never before in the history of the English language has Ed Harris been referred to as an “exciting discovery.”

Opening the doors to each new car provides a rush of possibility, with Marcos Beltrami’s propulsive score underneath. Each represents a beautifully realized, self-contained world. Each is impeccable in its production and costume design.

And none of which makes any fucking sense at all.  

You’re trying to save the human race.  The only living humans are going to be the ones on your train.

Do you include a sushi bar?

How about a sauna?

There is, by the way, one sleeping car for the entire front of the train.  I don’t know where these people poop either.

Oh, and one entire car features a rave.

Other than the machine that makes the protein bars– and I’ll get to that later– there is no manufacturing on the train at all, because why would there be manufacturing on a train, which makes the Front People’s perfectly new and perfectly clean clothing, after seventeen years, a little… odd?

The one common theme among people who enjoy this movie is that they get hypnotized by the visuals.  I couldn’t like this movie for the same reason I never thought Jessica Simpson was hot.  I cannot get past that much stupid no matter how pretty it is.

Sushi bar, people.

But the bit where the movie became truly unsupportable was the school car.  This is the part of the movie where it became perfectly clear that Chris Evans was made to star in this film at gunpoint.  Look at the man’s face in this scene:

tumblr_n3sihv3lzd1t08kbco4_250

That is not the face of a man who is acting.  That is the face of a man who has no idea how the fuck he got where he is and is considering simply saying fuck the paycheck and going home.

Now, note something:  There has just been a massive, violent and bloody revolution in the back of this train.  Dozens of people have been killed.  Absolutely nothing has changed in the front of the train.  No one appears to know what has happened– I guess those forty or fifty guards just lived in that one car, with no food or beds or furniture or, like, a place to sit; that’s just the Standing Menacingly In Case We Need to Do That car– and no one at the front cares when these people come forward despite all of Tilda Swinton’s hectoring nonsense about Knowing Your Place.

And none of the children react to the bloody, beaten-up people who come into their school.  The bloody, beaten-up people just wander around.

Oh, shit, I forgot.  My favorite bit?  Did you see the part in the trailer where Tilda Swinton tells them that 74% of them are about to die?  Sounds kinda badass, right?

No fucking reason at all to be in the movie.  She says that for no reason at all.  And, again, since there is no reason for the tail people to be there, it doesn’t matter how many of them die no matter what Ed Harris says later.  They aren’t doing anything. They don’t need to be there.

So, yeah.  That scene: They’ve made a big deal about how there are no bullets left on the train, a plot point that is summarily thrown out later, (because Reasons, and because it gives them a reason to forget that it’s supposed to be cold outside) and the rebellion runs into a bunch of security guards with axes.  Because, sure, why not, right?  They are also wearing masks that inexplicably cover their eyes:

snowpiercer

You, uh, can’t see to fight.  Now, it’s okay, because in a scene that all the idiots keep praising, soon this train will go into a tunnel, and all of these guys will put on night-vision goggles so that they can keep fighting.  (The amazing cinematography during this scene that people keep talking about?  They shift into first-person mode for a bit during the fight.  This was stupid when the DOOM movie did it, and the DOOM movie was based on a first-person action video game.  It’s even more inexcusable here.)

Right, the goggles.  They put them on over their black fucking knit caps that are blocking their vision.

You might wonder how they get the time to stop the fight and put on the night-vision goggles when clearly in this shot the fight has not begun yet and they are also clearly not in the dark.

They stop the fight to sing Happy New Year.

I am not joking.

The entire fight, including the revolutionaries, stops so that the combatants can sing Happy New Year, and then the revolutionaries, who are fighting for their lives by the way, wait patiently while these men put on night-vision goggles– after one character explains to everyone that they’re about to enter a tunnel– because, hell, I don’t know, it would be… what, unfair to the… bad guys?  Or something?

The intentionally cryptic conclusion suggests that something better may be out there — for everyone — after all.

Here is how the movie ends: They blow up the train, and everyone dies.  Well, everyone except for Inexplicably Psychic Girl and Stolen Kid– God, don’t get me started on Stolen Kid— who wander off the train, into weather so cold that someone’s arm was frozen solid in seven minutes two hours beforehand– and they are fine, and then there is a polar bear, and OH HEY I GUESS ALL LIFE ON EARTH DIDN’T DIE, except that polar bear is going to eat your dumb asses and oh also you have no food and water.  Or shelter.

You’re gonna die, is what I’m saying.

This is only “cryptic” if you’re a fucking moron.

Christ I’m at almost 2000 words already.  I wanted to write fiction tonight, people.

You need to understand that I have barely scratched the surface here.  I have not yet begun to elucidate the many, many ways in which this was an insanely stupid movie.  It took me two thousand words to mention the part where Korean Door Hacker Guy pulls out a couple of cigarettes and we hear a voice over from a random character say “Cigarettes have been extinct for ten years!” rather than, oh, I don’t know, just having the characters react to seeing a cigarette.

Because that’s how stupid this movie is; it doesn’t trust itself– or you— to even comprehend simple shit.

Their protein bars (God, I haven’t even talked about the protein bars!  Half the fucking movie is about protein bars!) are made of bugs. Millions and millions of bugs to make protein bars.

Where do the bugs come from, on this we’re-repeatedly-told-this-is-a-closed-ecosystem of a train?  The millions and millions of bugs that we see in the one shot that get turned into protein bars each and every day to feed the people who have no earthly fucking reason to be on the train needing food?

Don’t ask!

I hated this fucking movie.


So, uh, this post is starting to go viral?  I just want to point out that a lot of you are new to my blog, and there are lots of other posts to read  if you found this review interesting or funny.  I also write books.  It is my hope that they are more entertaining, or at least make a lot more sense, than SNOWPIERCER.  Finally, if you like, feel free to follow me on Twitter.  Thanks for reading, even if you think I’m an idiot after doing it.  🙂

Second update:  Comments are closed, because babysitting the internet on a post from four months ago has officially gotten old.  If you liked the post and want me to know, just hit “Like.”  If you didn’t like the post and want me to know, well, you’ll just have to find a way to live with someone not liking something you like.  I’m very sorry that happened to you.  I’m sure whatever you were going to say would have changed my mind, too.

61 thoughts on “SNOWPIERCER: I hated, hated, hated, hated, HATED this movie.

  1. Man, this sounds like one of those ideas I’d have when I got high in college, that got totally derailed in the light of soberness because it just didn’t fit no matter how hard you tried.

    Yes, that pun was intentional.

    No, I’m not in the least bit sorry.

    This actually made me want to check it out, though. Is that weird?

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  2. I watched this movie with my roomates recently, we are all intelligent yet disagreeable chaps. We all really liked the first half of the movie, then we noticed the same inconsistencies and flaws that you did.

    I really hate to say it but, Hollywood knows they can get away with gaping plot holes very easily nowadays, even when it comes to “PROFESSIONAL CRITICS”. The movie was fucking cool as shit. But as an intellectual it made me want to punch an interracial apocalypse-born baby.

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  3. Intellectuals praise this movie like they do The Dark Knight: it codifies the Occupy Movement into something tangible and understandable and therefore is a modern reflection on the ills of our society like today — just like their professors told them good art should be like.

    The rest of watch this movie and wonder where our lives went while it was playing.

    It seems the purpose of those at the back were to amuse those at the front and provide children that would be sacrificed to keeping the machine going — though this plot point gets lost amongst the emphasis that the rich have everything and the poor nothing. I guess in Hollywood, that may appear to be the reality due to the high difference between incomes, but for the rest of us it’s just weak plotting at best.

    Glad that someone else hated this movie!

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  4. HNK

    “The. Dumbest. Movie. I’ve. Ever. Seen.” How many have you watched? At the top of my head, I can name at least six movies that are less intelligent than this one. The A team. The expendables. Horror movies in general.

    On the premise: Suspend disbelief for a while. Entertain the idea. That’s how most fantasy/sci-fi fiction stories are born. There will be handful, sure, that somehow adhere to all the laws of the universe and how things are supposed to work, but those are few and far between. Even the in-universe logic of the story defeats itself, true, but so do plenty of other stories of you look closely enough. Judge the work by what it was meant to be/trying to be (which I assume is some sort of socio-political commentary).

    The poor do serve a purpose for the train. Remember the kids they take away to “replace” certain parts of the engine that have broke down? As it is explained, they need very young kids since they place din very confined locations. The need is so exact that they measure kids before selecting them.

    Why, you might not ask, would they not just pick the rich/middle class people to do this and forego having the poor on board? I imagine they’d revolt as well in that case. It is precisely because the poor do nothing that they are chosen to serve as parts. Any revolution on their part is put down quickly – except the one shown in the movie, which had taken the authorities by surprise. The poor also have zero bargaining power at the beginning, since they contribute nothing but slave labor in the form of children. They are also kept in the dark for this reason. Since they don’t know how important they are to the train’s continuity, they think they have no bargaining power at all (as opposed to other classes who can withhold labor).

    The rebellion. It’s a film, they’re on a budget. The rule of thumb for directors/writers is not to show everything, but what is important. It would make for incredible boring films for one. The train is shown to be very long (miles long, I estimate). There’s plenty of room for many things, but if those rooms aren’t interesting, or having nothing too important going on, they aren’t going to show it. People would fall asleep if 3/4ths of the movie consisted of walking past compartments just to show how people lived. A few shots if fine, beating it to death is bad.

    “Look at the man’s face in this scene:” Or he could be a good actor.

    “Absolutely nothing has changed in the front of the train.” Because if you were a dictator, the first thing that comes to mind is to tell the populace there’s a rebellion going on. Obviously not, that just incites further chaos. The people don’t know what to do either. I imagine they never gave it much thought and have not encountered the situation too many times – if at all. From the movie, it implies all previous revolutions ended well before they reached the (rich) population at large.

    “They stop the fight to sing Happy New Year.” Tradition can be a powerful force. Take the Christmas Truce of WW1. Soldiers at the front, literally killing each other for weeks now declare a truce for this day. The movie shows it in a quick progression, but its not completely stupid as an idea.

    “Here is how the movie ends: They blow up the train, and everyone dies. ” I agree with you here. The survivors are screwed. Even if they weren’t the only one, most of the most experienced people are dead, to be sure. These “train babies” won’t know how to survive.

    “OH HEY I GUESS ALL LIFE ON EARTH DIDN’T DIE.” You didn’t think there was a chance that it was exaggerated? At the very least it grew too cold for humans to live outside. Remember that this information is coming from the authority, and should be taken with a grain of salt as it is for the most part propaganda to keep people in line and continue the “closed ecosystem”.

    “Cigarettes have been extinct for ten years!” – That comment is a reaction and it makes the point of scarcity rather quickly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hnk tldr got to the point where you said the in universe and had to stop you there, this isn’t a science fiction movie for one. for two when you say “they select the children based on size” a child can grow like 7 inches a year, with the average being 4.5, this is a completely dumb idea, also the kids not being able to leave had to be BUILT INTO THE DESIGN, the dead bodies wouldn’t clog up this tiny passage? fucking ridiculous

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    2. also i hate movies that treat children as bumbling idiots, ok give my mom and dad and all my friends food and better living conditions and ill fix your machine?!?! my 3 year old niece would say this. and you DONT HAVE TO KILL THEM, use more kids, put them on shifts obviously you dont have to have them ALWAYS working or else or else when one died it would be over. this movie is one giant twat waffle, and it comes from a book thats a cock goblin.

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  6. exm8000

    Guessing from the map they showed of the train’s route and that it takes one full year to complete one pass around the globe… the train would be moving a continuous and constant 6.0 to 8.5 miles per hour. nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Snowpiercer: The Idea was better than Snowpiercer: The Movie.

    Unfortunately – and I do tip my hat to him for starring in this – the movie’s ultimate failure is Chris Evans. He is “the chosen one.” Why is he the chosen one? Who the fuck knows. He’s white, male and good looking. He inexplicably navigates himself through unsurvivable scenes of violence. You just sit back and eat it.

    Even though in the script he’s “not who we thought he was,” namely, he knows what babies tastes like, he super regrets it, and lets you know about it by letting out the occasional scream when something bad happens to “the masses.” Of course – he does not stand out in this regard from any of his fellow plebs. His character is totally unexceptional.

    I am reminded of the excellent Alien franchise, where Sigourney Weaver represents humanity, the one thing that the alien can’t kill. If you look closely, Ripley is the compassionate one, driven by a concern for the welfare of her fellow human beings in a world where people only care about profits. Once that franchise abandoned that equation, it lost its way.

    So you might agree with me then that there is no unexpected connection with the main character to something greater. This is why I might find myself describing the movie to someone else and blowing them away, but the actual experience of the movie falls short of what I had hoped it to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. taro

    Thank goodness…. I am not alone. I was very excited to watch this movie… But I honestly found it to be extremely painful. I just do not understand the critical acclaim.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Billy Hill

    I hated this movie as well. Don’t worry, I didn’t pay to see it. One could write volumes describing everything wrong with this movie. You could make a movie longer than Snowpiercer just to badmouth it! I honestly was shocked to find this was so highly praised after I watched it, because it is one of the very worst movies I have seen in a long time.

    The entire “plot” is simply stitched together just to stick these people on a train. The apocalypse, no way to get off because everything is frozen, etc. is all fabricated just to stick these people on a train. So why doesn’t the train just sit in one spot, instead of risking dangerous derailment? And a track that goes around the world? IDIOTIC! Apparently it’s fairly easy to build rail bridges across the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, etc. And apparently North Korea was plenty happy to let them run right through it (I bet some of you missed that).

    I could go on and on and on for a long time, but I’m glad others share my hatred for this ridiculous asinine movie. It will definitely be one of my top 10 worst movies for a while. Until maybe George Lucas decides to make another Star Wars “masterpiece”…

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    1. Again, I maintain his presence would indicate an improvement, because I would have realized it was supposed to be a dumb movie, and not a dumb movie that people made by accident while trying to make a smart one.

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  10. Edward

    Yes it was a horrible movie. But I did get it. The train was a metaphor for society and social status. It was just caricatures of the evil rich and pathetic poor. It was made to appeal to those who like to pretend they are smarter than others while at the same time claiming to believe in complete equality. Basically it was made for anti-capitalists, anarchists and socialists such as the Occupy folks and other bohemian want-to-be’s.
    A few years ago my daughter was asked as a college project to go downtown and interview the Occupy Wall Street people camped out in a park. It was a great awakening for her. She started by covering their complaints and such and seeing their passion until she realized that none of them actually had any reason to be there. She then began each interview with asking what it is they hoped to accomplishment and how that accomplishment would come about. None could answer. Not just bad answers. No answers. Then those around the interviewee would start chanting. She realized they were there because it seemed like a cool thing to do but had no idea of why. She finished by filming people in suits in the building windows above laughing at the idiots below. In fact the building was a bank who was allowing the OWS people to stay in the private park the bank owned because the bankers were asked to by politicians (who had the bankers in their back pocket and were behind the whole charade). When the politicians were through with them (the election over, etc) and the press just started ignoring them the poor pathetic people were just left there to rot in their own filth until they slowly faded away.
    Anyway, those are the people this movie is directed at. People who think they are smart for liking things that others tell them will make them smart. People who hate the successful because the successful tell them to hate success. Keeps them in their place.
    Real people just laugh and shake our heads in disbelief of the stupidity.
    Sorry for the long post but I just finished this movie and had to let it out or explode.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Krioni

      The movie sounds horrible. Now that we have that out of the way, I’d like to address your ridiculously ignorant commentary on Occupy Wall Street. Your daughter managed to convey a bunch of probably false information to you. Zuccotti Park is a privately-owned public space. In other words, the owners are required by law to maintain it as a space for public use in exchange for zoning variations elsewhere, not because some politicians wanted protesters there. Second, the people there didn’t “fade away,” they were brutally beaten by the police on the orders of Mayor Bloomberg, robbed of what possessions they had (a large collection of books and laptop computers were destroyed, along with other supplies), and thrown into jail. Those are facts. Go look them up.
      I don’t think I need to address the idea that your daughter either: 1) cherry-picked the least articulate activists she could find, or 2) lied to you, or 3) was just plain lazy. Many of the activists involved in OWS were brilliant and have put forward very cogent arguments on how income inequality and many other grievances are disastrous for our society. Pretending otherwise is a pathetic angle to take. I’m not sure why you bothered.

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  11. Matthew Bertsch

    I don’t know how you pulled-off this (awesome, incredibly accurate) review, because I’m still at a loss for words. You know how when something is so mind-boggling absurd that there are too many thoughts raging inside your head at the same moment that they get bottlenecked like an LA traffic jam? Yeah, that’s me right now.
    I made it approximately 27 minutes into the movie before I paused it and googled “Snowpiercer ridiculous ” when I found your review (#1 returned on this results, btw).
    I had to know if there was any redeeming quality to this movie before I wasted another second on it. Seeing by the accuracy in your reviews of the scenes I actually did see gave me a level of confidence to trust the rest of your review. Thanks for preventing a wasted hour of my life. Now no one will have to hear my whisper “Snowpiercer” on my deathbed (ala H.G. Wells), wishing I could have that 2 hrs of additional life back.

    I find myself so fucking pissed at the thought that this movie was even made, let alone getting rave scores. I’m an aspiring screenwriter myself and I lose my fucking mind when I see this shit! Is that the key to success in Hollywood? Just put every possible cliche left-wing political piece of bullshit in your script and you’re golden? (Global warming, class warfare, etc.).
    WTF?!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. pdbranson

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who thinks this movie is a complete waste of… well, everything. I’m astonished that it has 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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  13. GLX

    Luther I just read your review of Snowpiercer and I have to say…I’m glad someone finally makes some fucking sense around here. I watched this due to the high reviews and praise the movie received. Not to mention all the articles about Chris Evans hating fame and wanting to move behind the camera…the talks of how “ashamed” he was of Fantastic Four but it made all this money and the movie he was proud of no one went to see. I thought maybe this is a film he was proud of and it would be great…it was the most confusing turd I’ve ever watched…the only worse movie I can think of is Ang Lee’s Incredible Hulk and The Avengers (w/ Uma Thurman).

    Everything you said is spot on, throwing out the manufacturing plot hole and just going with the concept of have’s versus have not’s in a post apocalyptic setting it’s still bad. I thought I was the only one but a coworker just watched it and totally agreed. How are people rating this so HIGHLY?!?!? We think it’s a conspiracy.

    I saw a comment about how there was no character development and someone responded saying the American version cut out too much from the original Korean version. How much could you cut out to make that movie better. Unless the Korean version is 4 hours long I don’t see how it could be much better.

    Loved the article and don’t forget the part where Stolen Kid’s mom just starts yelling “Fried chicken!!!!”

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  14. You identified almost categorically, all of the things that I saw wrong with this movie. It was impossible to believe any of the plotpoints of this movie. By the end I was just laughing at the cliches, the enormous plot holes, and the lack of any adherence to even remote scientific reason and reality, or that fact that the characters are so forgettable. I didn’t feel like I gave a shit about any of them.

    Immediately after finished I went on rottentomato to see what other people thought of it, and was SHOCKED at how highly rated it was. I couldn’t find ANY bad reviews. I thought I was taking crazy pills. I feel like everyone else is in on some sort of internet “sarcasm” conspiracy, because if I had read all of those reviews, knowing they were sarcastic, they would actually make ALOT more sense to me. So I searched and found your review. Thank god, I’m not the only one who thought this was practically unbearable.

    And for all of the people who continue to say that its just allegory, or are happy with all of the references to other films, all I have to say is no. If you are going to tell an allegorical story, you at least need to make a certain amount of sense. You can’t just ignore basic plot points, and tell the story as if your audience members are all morons.

    Everything about this movie was poorly executed with perhaps the exception of set design. Even still, the train cars didn’t make sense to begin with, so despite good set design, the sets themselves still made no sense. I could go on forever about how terrible this was, but your review did a great job.

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  15. JL

    I would first like to say that I’m not sure that I get it. I never went to film school, I didn’t read the book, and I don’t have much experience with Korean films or art in general. That being said, I think the problem is that this entire film was written by some really smart and art-minded Koreans, then inserted into google translator, then sent to final edit. I have heard from friends, teachers, radio personalities, and others that I trust (now to a much lesser degree) to give me advice on how to spend a couple of hours. The first movie I thought of after I finished watching this one was The Human Centipede. Yes, it was that bad. I think this was worse than Pervert!, which I dare anyone to watch for the humor/gore/porn. At least in those other movies you don’t leave puzzled wondering why your friends betrayed your trust with their personal reviews.
    Anyway, a couple of things that I noticed, thought were really important to point out and have yet to be mentioned here. 1)What was with the fish being passed around so that the bad guys could get blood on their hatchets? Is that some kind of tradition that I’m not aware of? Perhaps they needed some kind of way to incorporate the fish that they would later need for this: 2) Am I the only one that found the slipping on the proverbial banana peel (the dead fish) the funniest use of slapstick since Dumb and Dumber? The fact that he literally fell for the 2nd oldest trick in the book in slow motion was something I needed in my life to heal from the passing of Robin Williams. 3) So what some of you are saying that the teacher had no idea there was a revolution, and she just instinctually pulls an oozi out of a basket and rips the poor to shreds? Meanwhile, she is an absolute crazy person to have those eyes while singing that horribly-written song that doesn’t even rhyme (like I said, google translator). 4) When did Chris Evans find the time in those 17 years to become the most accurate person ever with an oozi? What I mean is, while this train is moving (another post mentioned at 8 mph, but that’s not the point) around a bend, the unmentioned bad-ass in a suit and Chris start shooting at each other, and remarkably, Chris is capable of making one of the most inaccurate weapons one could choose into a sniper rifle.
    There were only two things that were missing from this film: an epic chase where the two groups chase each other in and out of doorways that are inexplicably linked and are confusing to not just the characters, but to the viewers as well (like the Benny Hill show), and a giant alien that uses several tentacles to have sex with the hot drug addict girl. Otherwise, this may be the funniest movie I’ve seen in weeks!

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  16. I’ve been debating for a couple weeks whether or not to stream this one. You’ve just given me another excuse not to watch it. The whole idea of a perpetually moving train over a frozen planet as a survival mechanism struck me as inane. It’s almost like somebody drew a cool sketch of this concept – and there’s no doubt that a train speeding across a frozen tundra LOOKS cool – then somebody else decided it was worth making an entire movie on that concept.

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  17. Paul

    WHY…no….HOW!!! How did they lay down the rail for the train A) around the entire planet B) before everyone died. Why aren’t there more trains? And why didn’t the train get destroyed by the lunatics that seem to populate the planet? No sense. Stupid movie. Stupid story.

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  18. Barbara Boren

    Agree. STUPIDLY HORRIBLE!!
    However…… You did fail to mention the car with the people with wings….. Who has wings?!? Why did they need wings on a train?!? ARGHHHHH!!
    I hated this movie so much…. That while my husband and I were watching it… I found your post…. and I was reading it and laughing my ass off at your complete accuracy on this idiotic movie!!!
    Guess the writer and producer were using “Kronol” when they shit out this crap!!

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  19. One of the worst reviews I’ve read in a while. First off, stop treating movies like some sort of check-list. Movies don’t need to make sense on a logical level, just on an emotional one. You might as well complain that Gravity defies the laws of space when, really, one should be focused on how brilliant the experience of being lost in such a terrified environment is captured. Snowpiercer is about political corruption, contention between radically different ideals and moral relativity. You’re missing the bigger picture by focusing on insignificant small details.

    You constantly contradict yourself. You claim Snowpiercer doesn’t trust the audience enough and then you whine that the movie doesn’t give out enough explanations. Look, I don’t want to write a 3000 word essay picking apart at everything wrong with this review, but what really bugs me the most is how you criticize people for liking the movies themselves and calling them “idiots”. I understand that you might find the movie overly problematic and frustrated people have given it so much praise. It’s cool that you disagree, but you present your opposition in such juvenille fashion.

    I personally love Snowpiercer. I think it’s a masterpiece and it does bug me that you dismiss EVERYTHING about this movie even the direction which is simply beautiful. At least try to watch this short video explaining the film’s clever direction and give it SOME merits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X05TDsoSg2Y

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    1. Matthew

      Only an idiot lemming would love Snowpiercer.

      Yes, a movie must be logical…unless you intend to show it to a room full of morons (or lemmings). Even surrealistic movies must have a core of logic that it adheres to. You can present an unbelievable/unrealistic scenario on screen and still make it believable (suspension of disbelief…many movies are successful in this). An example of this would be the movie Avatar. It has a similar message to Snowpiercer, but it doesn’t ask us to be total retards to sit through it. There are many incredible things to believe in Avatar, but they pull it off. They suspend our disbelief quite well.

      Snowpiercer, on the other hand, is a piece of shit. The only people who would like it are those who are so invested in its political views that they have no choice but to love it.

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      1. Aw, is someone butthurt that people actually enjoy Snowpiercer? First off, Avatar is an awful movie that is so beat-by-beat in its story and is so poor in its own human characterization that its themes are rendered shallow.

        Anyway, you didn’t even counter any of my arguments as expected from someone who knows little of cinema. If you wanna call me out for enjoying the film, please back up your arguments and ELABORATE. Come on, man. Use your words. You’re not a child anymore. Tell me why Snowpiercer’s logic doesn’t work. Why does it matter how they got on the train? Tell me why it matters that the movie never shows us where the rich people sleep. Please explain why this is important on an emotional level, a dramatic level and a thematic.

        You said you’re an aspiring screenwriter? It’s hard to believe when you don’t understand that movies don’t need to work on a logical level. You might as well be dissing on David Lynch and Luis Bunuel. Also, what are your favorite movies? If you think Avatar has a good script, then you, sir, are severely troubled.

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