EIFF 2014: Snowpiercer

Film Review by Josh Slater-Williams | 21 Jun 2014
Film title: Snowpiercer
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, Ko Ah-sung, Ewen Bremner, Luke Pasqualino, Alison Pill, Vlad Ivanov

Adapted from a French comic, directed by South Korean maverick Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Memories of Murder), and featuring a stacked roster of American, European and Asian stars, the high-concept sci-fi Snowpiercer is the epitome of an ambitious international co-production (Bong’s briliant regular star Song Kang-ho is arguably even the film’s second lead after – a strong – Chris Evans). It’s set in a future where a failed global warming experiment has killed off all life on Earth, except for the hundreds who boarded the eponymous massive train, one that travels around the world and has developed a distinct class system.

It’s an often bonkers escalation of deliberately clashing sensibilities, tonal whiplash, genuine surprises, and a darkly absurdist take on blockbuster formula. Against all odds, though not totally unexpected given the director’s previous skill with the erratic, the end result is quite spectacular. As Tilda Swinton’s riotously funny stooge asserts, everything on the Snowpiercer has its place, and so too do the film’s disparate parts somehow cohere to stop things going off the rails.

Snowpiercer has its UK premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival

22 Jun, 8.20pm, Cineworld 3

28 Jun, 8.15pm, Cineworld 3