“Snowpiercer”: Revolution on the Orient Express

Director Bong Joon-Ho's thrilling Snowpiercer is a Korean film with American and British leads shot in the Czech Republic, an appropriately international pedigree for a story set on a train which circumnavigates the Earth. The trick is that Earth has entered a new ice age due to a global-warming experiment gone south, and the last surviving humans are on the train. Living in squalor at the end of the train is the rabble, including reluctant leader Curtis (Chris Evans) and wise old coot Gilliam (John Hurt). Living in luxury at the front are the Beautiful People, represented by Mason (Tilda Swinton, gloriously going the full nerd) and the armed guards she uses to keep the proles in their place. With the help of security expert Namgoong Minsoo (Kang-ho Song), Curtis and company fight their way to the front, and what at first threatens to turn into a level-by-level brawler like The Raid: Redemption soon goes into pleasantly unexpected directions, as the journey through the train becomes more surreal and allegorical. Snowpiercer is one of those rare modern action movies that keeps the audience guessing, packed with fascinating ideas and presenting a fully fleshed-out universe while also following Joe Bob Briggs' first rule of drive-in filmmaking: Anyone can die at any moment. Check it out.

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