Bong Joon Ho’s SNOWPIERCER To Be Butchered For US Release
I’m going to be blunt – Snowpiercer (or Seol Guk Yeol Cha here in Korea) is the best fucking movie
of the summer. If there’s any justice in the world, it’ll be a film on many top ten lists. It also boasts one of the best ensembles in recent memory, all of who perform at the absolute top of their game. Let’s get this list out of the way:
Song Kang Ho
You’d be familiar with the last actor’s work if you’re a fan of Korean films (Kim Jee Woon’s The Good, The Bad, and The Weird; as well as Bong Joon Ho’s breakout hit, The Host). Joon Ho succeeds at what few filmmakers have hoped to attempt – he bridged a cinematic cultural gap. Not only thematically, but literally. Through some clever writing, we are able to see actors from both hemispheres performing at the top of their game, in their own vernaculars.
With no sign of lingual confusion for the viewer.
It’s fucking astounding.
The film’s premise: In the near future, global warming became such an issue thatwe developed a chemical to try and counter it – and ended up freezing ourselves to death. The last of humanity rides on a giant, globe trotting train. The beginning of the film boasts an all too familiar story of class warfare – the back of the train is poor, the front of the train is rich, and there’s a rebellion. But, when we hit Act 2, everything changes for Chris Evans and crew as they journey forward into the unknown, and the film morphs into a contemporary, dark Wizard of Oz tale. Such a film needs tight directing and an efficient, precise script.
So, when the Weinstein Company decided to cut twenty minutes out of the film for American distribution, all I ask is, “why?”. Apparently, it’s because they want to focus more on the action, as well as change the ending (which, I dare not spoil, in hopes that you all one day see the film as it’s meant to be).
It hurts my soul that a lot of you won’t get to see the cut that I saw – as it’s truly magnificent. I can’t lay praise on this movie enough. This was a big one. A film that was meant to be enjoyed together, and meant to be talked about long after the fact. I want to chat with you all about it, to get in passionate arguments over what the ending means.
And now, I won’t be able to.
Bob. Harvey. This one hurts.
You can follow Terry Erickson on Twitter.