Snowpiercer review – The graphic novel that’s being adapted into a film

snowpiercerSnowpiercer is a French graphic novel that is being turned into a Korean movie filmed in English with an American star. Sound confusing? Yes, yes it is. When I first heard the construct of Snowpiercer, I thought, “Sounds interesting, I totally dig post apocalyptic story lines.” When I heard Chris Evans was the main star of the movie, I thought, “Hell yeah, this graphic novel is going to be bad ass if Captain America himself is going to be in the adaptation.” Well, I am very torn by this book and have yet to decide if it is a brilliant masterpiece, or a big piece of…well, you know.

“Coursing through an eternal winter, on an icy track wrapped around the frozen planet Earth, there travels a train that never stops. This is Snowpiercer; one thousand and one carriages long. From fearsome engine to final car, all surviving human life is here; a complete hierarchy of the society we lost. The elite, as ever, travel in luxury at the front of the train- but for those in the rear coaches, life is squalid, miserable and short. Proloff is a refugee from the tail, determined never to go back. In his journey forward through the train, he hopes to reach the mythical engine and, perhaps, find some hope for the future..”

snowpiercer-le-transperceneige-1b-cool-hunting-thumb-620x399-75101The first volume of the book is in pure black and white, giving it an almost The Walking Dead feeling. It starts off by introducing the situation of the people in the car by focusing on the fascist soldiers who control the train. The book then goes on to introduce the main character, Proloff, who tries to make a daring escape from the lower class carriages, risking his own life to do so and proving that the current status of the rear carriages is really that bad. He is then detained and mistreated by the soldiers but soon finds himself being interviewed by a semi-elite female sympathizer.

If I get more into it, the entire story will be given away. The book really seems to parallel the current situation among the world and is easily identifiable to any American who has slightly paid attention to our current politics and social climate. It shows that there is primarily a two class system with an almost Occupy-type movement and rich liberal guilt operating to push the reintegration of classes. Without getting too much into politics, I will stop there and say it kind of pissed me off that it did this, since I read graphic novels to escape things such as politics. What I did enjoy was the story of the cohesiveness among the poor (especially on birthdays) as well as the ending of the first volume, which provided a bit of surprise.

spcoverjpgThe end of the volume answered the 2 main questions I had. How is the train still going, and what do they eat? They actually had some good answers to these questions, which make it seem almost realistic, and the fact that the story was pretty original made this better.

My biggest problem was the unresolved ending that seemed almost ironic to me, and now it is making me hold out for Volume 2, which will be released on February 25th. I really do want to see the movie, since the trailer looks to be quite different than the graphic novel. With Joon-Ho Bong (The Host) directing, I can’t wait to see where this train takes us!  See the trailer below.

Rating: B

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