This movie was... interesting. There were some nice ideas and concepts in there, but ultimately it just made a big mess inside my head. And I'm not going to pick out plot holes because hell, just read any of the other reviews on this page. But combined, they felt a bit distracting. The art and style is great. The whole thing is interestingly designed, and certain motifs like the big W logo come together at the ending when the main plot twist is revealed. Some of the character design may be a little goofy, but it fits with the overall tone. A lot of this movie is very visually attractive and the actors do a good job of keeping the narrative going. The choice of bilingual dialogue is an interesting one too, and not something which is used often enough in cinema, in my opinion. The trouble, the way I see it, is that most of the tropes in this film, dystopian or otherwise, have been handled better in other films. The population is controlled by both the top level and the bottom level being controlled in unison, leading to regular revolts by the lower class which are ultimately doomed to failure while still allowing room for the cycle to continue. That's basically the same premise as the latter two Matrix films. A dystopian society is subdivided into a starving and oppressed lower class who live in abject poverty and a flamboyantly dressed upper class who seemingly do little else but engage in mindless hedonism. That's essentially the worldbuilding from The Hunger Games. Brainwashing people with pseudo-religious propaganda to believe the person in charge is some kind of benevolent and merciful overlord... I can't think of an example offhand but I know I've seen that before. I was honestly surprised when those protein blocks the lower class were eating weren't rebranded soylent green. Though I have to wonder where they got all the roaches from. Were they farming them? All that said, a lot of good plot setups and payoffs are there in the writing. The drug is an explosive, the matches save the day twice, the uncomfortable regularity of characters losing limbs, and so on. Most of the plots and arcs are well constructed and you genuinely do feel empathy for some of the characters, making for some sad moments when they met their ends. The trouble is that the ending felt... Derailing. Pun intended. Giving it a full on Blake's 7 ending made a lot of the movie's main conflict feel a little pointless in hindsight. And why was there a polar bear on top of the mountain? They hunt seals. Additionally the whole thing about Curtis not wanting to lose his arm as a character arc feels a little tacked on TBH. But that's probably what happens when you squeeze most of a character arc into the final act of a story. Also, dammit Chris Evans, what is it with you getting limbs stuck in machinery at the end of movies? Overall, this movie feels more Waterworld than Fury Road, as far as dystopian stories go. It's worth watching as an entertaining and slightly larger than life action movie, as long as you don't pay too much attention to the finer details. But it certainly won't be for everyone.
In a future where a failed climate-change experiment has killed all life except for the lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, a new class system emerges.
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April 12, 2019