Snowpiercer is a fascinating angle on the ‘pre-ordained order’ of society and what human nature is capable of without moral leadership and laws in a post-apocalyptic world. That all of this takes place on a perpetually moving train is just another layer of existential irony – just like life, it just keeps moving, it never stops.
The story is primarily told through the eyes of Curtis, played by Chris Evans. He yearns for freedom and justice for the ‘freeloaders’ on the back of the train while the rest of the people enjoy good food, good living quarters, and good times. As the freeloaders continue to be oppressed, eventually they snap and Curtis leads them on a rebellion to take over the train. What he has to do to obtain this freedom may just make him twice the monster than the ones he is fighting against. That is one of the many tensions of the film.
The story is so unique and well told (for the most part). The director asks the questions of the importance of social order, he critiques the economic class systems, and he puts in debate the idea that all humans have equal value. Then he refuses to give neat answers to any of them.
The end of the film not only produces a gut-wrenching shocking moment but a huge moral twist that was impossible to see coming. Chris Evans’ acting made all of this possible as he delivers an incredible performance.