First Hit: Odd story, interesting scenes, and generally unsatisfying.
Global warming has us (humans) attempting to fix the problem with a pill (sort of speak). We spray stuff into the atmosphere to cool down the planet and we send ourselves into a deep freeze. All but a few hundred people remain, alive, on a perpetual motion train on an endless loop. Odd story – yes.
The train is divided into different sections, by classes, whereas the first class people get real food, alcohol, and have a good life as this train drives around this year long circle. However, the people in the back of the train get blocks of protein to eat, live in squalor and lose their limbs with infractions against the other classes. Wilford (Ed Harris), who is the person in charge of the train, believes that everyone has their place and their duty/job. Cutis (Chris Evans), who lives in the rear of the train wants to get control of the train and create a more equal environment among its passengers.
The film is about a social revolution. Some of the scenes where Mason, (Tilda Swinton) Wilford’s speaker and emissary, speaks to the trains’ passengers are priceless.
Although many of the characters are interestingly unique like, Namgoong (Kang-ho Song), Tanya (Octavia Spencer) Yona (Ah-sung Ko), and Gilliam (John Hurt) and a number of the battle scenes to overtake the train are of interest, it was generally unsatisfying story and execution of the story.
Harris does a good job of being arrogantly omnipotent yet there was a lack of depth in his performance that took away from the film. Evans did a very good job of carrying his character through this odd story and making it work. Swinton was unique, flamboyant and engaging when on the screen. Song was enigmatically interesting in his role as the one who thinks he knows what is going on outside the train. Spencer was wonderful as the mother and lover of the movement to change the status quo. Ko was incredibly engaging in her role. Hurt was excellent as the knowing old man who was once the partner of Wilford’s. Joon-ho Bong and Kelly Masterson wrote this imaginative and unfathomable story. Bong also directed the film.
Overall: Although it was an interesting film, I left the theater not thinking much about the experience of watching it.