Part Terry Gilliam, part George Orwell and with a touch of Soylent Green thrown in, Snowpiercer tells the story of a distant future, where after a failed attempt at reversing global warming, the earth is plunged into another ice age. The few remaining people left, are all aboard a very large train, that circles the globe every year. If you attempted to go outside, you would immediately be frozen to death. That is the set up of this rather cool film that is now free on Netflix.

The train: Snowpiercer was designed and built by a billionaire named Wilford, who runs it from the front. As with any new society run by humans, a class system is put in place, where the rich and entitled live in comfort up towards the front, and the poor live in a dirty, crowded, and dark section in the rear, eating gross black gelatinous chunks to feed them. Civil obedience is carried out by frequent visits to the back, by armed guards who beat and shoot the outspoken ones, and on some occasions, steal the young for unknown reasons. Any uprisings that have occurred, have been swiftly squashed; all of this overseen by Wilford’s rather twisted and freaky looking helper: Mason ( played by the wonderful Tilda Swinton).Hope is all lost in the back, and the only answer it seems, is finding a way to travel to the front.

Enter into the mix: Curtis ( Chris Evans), who has lived in the back for many years, and basically has lost any memory of who he was, and what life was life before the train. He, and the people he shares this place with, look up to an old wise fellow named: Gilliam (played by the great John Hurt), who has missing limbs that are replaced by apparently broom and umbrella handles; remnants of past digressions or, maybe worse. Curtis and a small band of his fellow passengers, have found out that the security expert who designed the locks: Namgoong (Kang-ho Sang) is in the detention area, frozen in sleep. If they can devise a plan to get to that compartment and then awaken him, they can bribe him with the toxic crap that he is addicted to called: Kronol?

Along for the trip are: Edgar (Jamie Bell), and: Tanya (Octavia Spencer), who’s son was taken to the front of the train. As this group starts to advance through the cars, surprises await them in each new one. There are battles and mysteries as they go; some will surprise you greatly and gravely. The director of this film: (Joon-ho Bong), who made the wonderful film:(The Host), does a nice job of keeping the action and suspense going, and also showing you glimpses of the world passing by outside. There is a great shot of a group of people who tried to escape, forever frozen in departure, that is shown through a story told by Namgoong.

I must say that Chris Evans hold his own and is a very good lead as Curtis. He is a mystery at first, but as the film progress, you learn more of his motivation. A very difficult scene towards the end, shows you just how good an actor this young man is, as there are some troubling things that his character confesses to.

Apocalyptic films are a dime a dozen, but this one is done with such vision and care, that it is well worth your time. Also, some lingering thoughts will be rolling around your head as you question just what would you do in the same situation.

This is a good movie that you should see.

watch the trailer: