Snowpiercer 2013 ***


Writer and director Bong Joon-ho follows up his splendid free-spirited monster movie The Host with a big budget action film set in a frozen future and with the action confined to a nuclear-powered train that smashes dramatically through snowdrifts. On board, there’s a revolution going on, with downtrodden back-of-the-coach inhabitants led by Curtis and Edgar (Chris Evans and Jamie Bell) against Mason (Tilda Swinton). Swinton’s performance is the first sign that Snowpiercer is heading off the rails; somewhat between Dame Thora Hird and Sue Pollard from British sit-com Hi-di-Hi, her weirdly comic, distracting turn indicates a fatal lack of cohesiveness about the film. Curtis battles his way up to the front of the train to confront Ed Harris as the big boss, with a few well-staged action sequences along the way. But despite an original idea and strong mounting, Snowpiercer is a mess, with a cumbersome length, uninvolving storylines and illogical incidents that provoke derisory laughs rather than thrills.


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