It’s 2031 and Earth is frozen over. The powers that be have introduced a chemical agent into the atmosphere to counteract global warming and the results were less than amenable to the levels needed to support life on the planet. Fear not! There is a super train, that’s right, a locomotive that is both ever moving forward and self-sustaining in it’s annual journey around our globe. What is also more than fortunate is the fact that all of civilization now resides within it’s multi-car class-system that, you guessed it, has the lowest of the low (evidently comprised of multiple faceless white people, a number of Asians and one black woman and her kid) forced to reside in the caboose! Those with no merit, money or meaning must stay at the back! The rest of mankind live in various cars in front of these hapless individuals, each car farther north more lavish than the one behind it. Sound awesome? It should and it probably was when it was simply a graphic novel in 1982. Unfortuanatley in 2014 it’s not awesome, only dreary, sad and uninspired. Sure, the story is an interesting one as just sermized by yours truly, but the listless and mind numbing exposition, gray toned costumes and matching backdrops along with an utter lack of anything that resembled a humorous tone was not. In fact tone was an issue throughout. Had Joon-ho Bong made this in his native South Korea with subtitles, the tone and weak set up may have been forgivable, but he did not and it was not. Language barrier perhaps? Like Christmas and the 4th of July colliding for an uncomfortable day of stockings, explosions and turkey, this movie never came together. I know I’ll take heat for this, and maybe I should for being so hard on something so original and new, but we should be doing stories like this justice. With the class systems in place, an obligatory coup to be had and the endless possibilities of set design form one car to the next, there is no excuse. So much to offer and with an idea this good, how could they have squandered it like this? A cast that includes Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Alison Pill and a man named Ed cant’t help this one to the favorable finish line.
2 0f 5 (The concept far outweighs the finished product.)
Must Watch = 5 0f 5 (See it in the theater if possible/buy it or pay for rental)
Should Watch = 4 of 5 (Worth a theater visit or sending away for)
Could Watch = 3 of 5 (If it’s on a pay channel or streaming for free)
Should Not Watch = 2 of 5 (Only if friends or family insist)
Do Not Watch = 1 of 5 (Don’t allow friends or family to make this mistake)