opera142: (bleach)
Tumblr has a thing for Batista now, and I just want to run around screaming, "ICK NO EVERYONE. ICKY ICKY ICKY!"
opera142: (towel)
The trailers beforehand: if you have a script featuring an old, bearded white guy who either ruthlessly controls a future dystopia or knows the secret of bringing down a future dystopia, you're going to have to walk your way to Hollywood because You Missed That Bus.

Trailer upon trailer of Old Bearded White Guys Who Were Famous In the 70s monotoning the talking points of their particular (though not unique) dystopia. By the fourth trailer, I was reverso-brainwashed and feisty and pop-culture brand rebellious. Which of these is true: do Americans have it so good that we've created a dystopia-porn industry? Or it's part of some weirdo plot to direct us away from thinking how little of American dream is coming true-- no home ownership or basic medical care for you, but it could be so much worse. You could live in a world where the only place you get to see color is in Jeff's Bridge's super library.

Anyway, Snowpiercer.

The one sentence review that spoils everything )

The longer, uncut, still spoilery review that ruins everything in detail.

Chris Evans plays Curtis, the type of hero that won't kneel to the man until he's been ordered multiple times, and then only begrudgingly will he kneel. Curtis lives in the tail (the rear cars) of a train that contains the last of humanity-- everyone else has been lost to an accidental ice age created when a plan to stymie global warming failed.

There are have and have-nots. Which gets explained to us repeatedly, first by Tilda Swinton in Margaret Thatcher drag, and then by many others. I do not know how the have and have-nots were sorted. No one other than Tilda, a handful of soldiers, a guy who makes protein bars, a sushi chef, a teacher and a manicurist have jobs. That would be my first act after seizing power in a post-cataclysmic world: give everyone meaningful work so that they either have buy-in in my Great Society or they're too tired to rebel.

Curtis is a have-not, but by God, he is determined to get to the front of the train and idk.. his plans are never really laid out. But I'm sure he's thinking of equality for all and a more democratic train.

So, he and his rag-tag band of tail-enders are planning on busting through car after car of despotism, building upon the failed plans of other, previous rag-tag bands of tail-enders. Their plans are temporarily derailed (geddit) when some soldier and a fat lady-- nothing says second-in-command-in-dystopic-fiction like an obese woman-- stop by the tail and steal some measuring-tape approved, right-sized children. This sets in motion many things: mama of a stolen kid joins the rag-tag army so as to mitigate the sausage-fest, dad of a kid fights back right then and there, and gets punished by having his arm shoved through a porthole until it freezes off, thus allowing movie viewers to judge how rebellious each character is by the number of limbs each has. To be noted: the fully-limbed Chris Evans kneels only after multiple requests; his mentor is missing an arm and leg.

Anyway, once the Tails realize that most of soldiers have empty guns (bullets have gone extinct), the push to the front begins. The Tails bust through 4 cars pretty easy, ending up in the car in which the protein bars they survive on are made. Cue everyone but the hero gorging and hording. Curtis takes a peek into the cooking vat and wretches. I'm like, the kids! But no, just lots of gross bugs.

So I'm sorta arms-cross-y about the horror show because, you know, I thought worst than the movie delivered. But, whatever, I guess I can't be mad about no-one eating babies, and wouldn't it be more logical to eat adults anyway.

Next they rescue a junkie engineer and his daughter from a prison car. They bribe him with drugs so he helps them unlock the doors between cars. Various fights scenes occur in various cars, and they are the best things about the movie. Ugly--but stylized-- close quarter combat with knives, axes and sharpened sticks, including one total horror show sequence in which the soldiers have night vision goggles, the tail-ends don't and the train goes into a tunnel. My favorite, though totally illogical and kinda stupid when thought about thoroughly scene features Main Muscle Bad Guy and Curtis staring at each other through re-enforced glass in separate cars as the train rounds a bend. They both waste way too many nearly-extinct bullets making little holes in their glass, and then each tries to shoot the other through the tiny holes. Both stand there, impassive, as bullets dent the glass next to their hearts.

The Main Muscle Bad Guy captures the Pretty Sidekick (not Sebastian Stan, some other pretty European sidekick) and Curtis is forced to choose between rescuing his friend and capturing Tilda Swinton. He choose and Tilda and the sidekick dies. More action scenes occur, occasionally broken up by odd, surreal scenes of life on the Have-side of the train. The Tail-enders enjoy a sushi break while forcing Tilda to eat a bug bar. They bust into a school day (idk, no lock-down practices for rag-tag army invasions), and again, a pregnant blonde woman is used to symbolize all that is wrong in this dystopia. Don't worry, she gets shot in the head. As does Tilda eventually, when she's no longer useful to the Have-Not cause.

Just about everyone dies along the way, even the replacement side-kick (his thing was parkour, and he gets mad acting props for actually looking like he regrets dying). And of course, the mentor, because how else can Curtis ascend to the top of the Brand New Order.

And dead sidekicks means manpain emo-speech from heroes. And serious manpain it is. Curtis resorted to cannibalism during the desperate early days of the train. Babies taste best, and he killed side-kick #1's mom with the plan to eat her baby, but mentor cut off his arm and gave it to mom-killers to eat instead, and I was like a)then why were you so delicate-freaky-pants about bug-slurry, b)how did that guy talk rationally after cutting off his arm, c) why didn't anyone eat the dead lady, d)wait, so missing arms aren't a symbol of rebelliousness; it just means people were serving their arms for dinner?

Curtis shows scars where he tried to cut of his arm, but just couldn't. Kill a woman and eat her baby, yes. Cut off arm, no.

Curtis gets to the front of the train where he meets the Old Bearded White Guy in Charge of This Dystopia. They argue about closed eco-systems and the circle of life, and oh look here, those little kids are replacing worn-out parts of the train. Scrub muck faster kiddos, we need to be to Toledo by 9pm. When reaching into the parts, Curtis loses an arm so he finally has the 3-limbed creds to run this train.

But, he lacks the time to either bleed out or seize power because junkie engineer has blown open a door to the outside (his theory of a thawing world has been supported by snow mostly melting off of a crashed airplane). The blast knocks the train off its tracks, crashing and twisting down a mountain side, killing everyone except one of the boys Curtis rescued and the junkie's daughter. They put on fur jackets and and venture off, though the snow, to rebuild humanity.


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February 2017

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