Captain America: The SUPER Winter Soldier
"Fight your way to the front."
Hello friends, I've delayed the inevitable crapocalypse to bring you more good movies today, although in doing so I have ushered in the actual apocalypse, because today's movie is all about the world after we fuck up the environment in a new, unexpected way. Normally it is in an effort to annihilate one another that humanity ushers in an ice age and then is nearly wiped out entirely, but in Snowpiercer, today's feature presentation, it is in an effort to repair the environmental damage mankind has already caused that they usher in the end of life as we know it. The basic premise is that in 2014 scientists engineer some chemical or particle that will allow them to cool off the Earth, and thus counteract the ecological devastation mankind has wrought. Well they're right, and the particle lowers temperatures. As you might guess from the title, the particle lowers those temperatures waaay wayyy down, and soon everything is trapped in a frosty ice age, and everyone is dead. Almost everyone that is. A small population is sustained on the Snowpiercer, a 100ish car long train that is run by a perpetual motion engine, and that travels in an unending circuit around the frozen world. Some people are lucky and live up front, where its a nonstop masque of the red death style party/orgy while others in the tail live in the most abject and miserable kind of squallor imaginable. The whole operation is overseen by Wilford, the enigmatic and reclusive overseer, who watches the engine and ensures its continued function. This system, as you can no doubt imagine, isn't super great for the people at the back of the train, who live in cramped conditions and survive off of disgusting protein bricks, that I won't tell you what they are because THAT'S HALF THE FUN MAN COME ON.

Meet my best friend.
Among the tail-end dwellers is Curtis (Chris Evans, our shining Captain America), a man with a plan, who is organizing an uprising with the help of other tail dwellers, including his friend and de facto second in command Edgar (Jamie Bell remember when he was an asshole in Jumper?). They plan to storm the guards and attack the front of the train, in the hopes of seizing control of the engine and thus, control of the entire train (which for all intents and purposes is the entire world). In the process of travelling from one end of the train to the other, Curtis and company are treated to a ton of totally surreal and fucked up shit, from grisly axe battles to indoor train aquariums. It is predictably weird, and gives us a glimpse into a seriously messed up world. Curtis is helped along by a stoner Korean guy who designed all the door locks, and his equally tweaked out daughter. What becomes increasingly apparent as the movie wears on is that everyone in it is basically coocoo for cocoa puffs, to some varying degree.

Let me axe you a question.
Snowpiercer was adapted from a French graphic novel, with a roughly similar premise, and was actually produced in South Korea (there also it was to receive its only wide release, thanks to the ruthless decrees of Harvey Weinstein) As a French comic adapted into a movie by a Korean director I'm surprised it had any plot at all, and wasn't just dirty people staring vacantly for the ENTIRE movie. As it stands they only do that for some of the movie. This premise was super interesting to me because it is very novel, both the cause of the end of the world and the method that mankind uses to try and evade it are... unique for sure, and cause a lot of hard looks at human nature and what people do when they are trapped inside a fast moving metal object and they are hungry (the answer is they start eating each other). The whole movie, despite certain hopeful elements, I thought is really dark if for no other reason than that it suggests people are incapable of learning from their mistakes. Mankind nearly wipes itself out, and then the remnants spend their time oppressing and murdering each other on a train. Not that sunny of a proposition right?

Tilda Swinton lookin' foxy tonight!
I think the movie is less about the end of the world to me though and more about how people cope with what they perceive as the world when they are trapped in a closed group. I don't believe that no one else on the Earth came up with a better way to ride out a long cold climate change other than a fucking massive train running in a circle. So really the movie just shows what everyone knows happens when one guy has all the power and people think there's no way out. They all go fucking nuts and there is inevitable blood. As an antagonist Wilford is very interesting, and while I sort of figured the movie would end the way it did, I was surprised a number of times by things that happened along the way, and its the journey that matters most right? In this case you'll be taking that journey on a really long train. In a circle. Forever.

I recommend you check this one out if you enjoy weird post-apocalypse, or if you are just in love with Chris Evans which, I mean really why would you NOT be right? I don't think there currently IS a legitimate source distributing this, other than the SLIGHTLY wider range of theaters that are now showing it thanks to its critical success, but when this one comes out on DVD or Blu-Ray or Laserdisc or whatever definitely pick it up and give it a watch. I promise that people get killed with axes. That's all for today! Join me next week, when I make good on my earlier threats.

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