Yes, the movie takes place in a train that is somehow going around the world on a track after the world has frozen over from a disastrous last failed attempt from humanity to save itself from the effects of hundreds of years of environmental damage. OK, that is kind of a stretch for believability, but the movie does grab you and you buy it ( at least for this movie).
So , the earth is uninhabitable because of the freezing temperatures. All that is left of humanity is living in the several cars of the train. the poorest and lowest class of train citizens are on the last car ( they got a free ride). They are in rags, overcrowded quarters and filth. They are not allowed in any of the other trains unless otherwise taken for unknown purposes. They are kept alive with gelatinous protein bars.
The story follows a group of these people from the last train and their plot and rebellion to get to Wilford , the guy who controls the very front end of the train and the engine room. We follow their rebellion, battles and journey from car to car until they reach the front. It is like some sort of weird and nightmarish Wizard of Oz-Willy Wonka- Dr. Who combination novel come to life.
Secrets are revealed. History is understood. The reason for ( even how unjustifiable) disparity between the rich and poor is on the train explained from the privileged point of view. There is no real breather fro the audience ( and you do not mind) in this film because it seethes and runs like great science fiction novels where it creates these great imaginative worlds and is also filled with thought provoking ideas and truths.
There are also many twists and turns in the plot with a touch of what I called psychedelic weirdness infused by some of its drug themes. It is also is layered in such a way that the film is not so much about the future but a commentary about our times. It is about how the powerful keep control of the masses and how the rich insure their wealth at the expense of the poor. It is shows the painful reality of discovering someone who mentors you and who you trust, can in the end be working with your worst enemy, politically or even in other ways.
It is also risking everything for a new future and starting with a clean slate.
Superpiercer was a extremely satisfying movie to watch and enjoy. It truly represents the best of science fiction. Kudos goes to Chris Evans, Kang-ho Song, Jamie Bell, John Hurt,Tilda Swinton, and Octavia Spencer for great performances. This role really showed the acting capabilities that Evans ( plays Curtis Everett) has who has been known more for bigger than life two dimensional characters.
“Snowpiercer’s Curtis Everett: “We take the engine and we control the world. It’s time we take the engine.”