Let’s blame it all on Kelly Masterson
Release date: August 1, 2013
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Language: English, Korean
Who should watch this movie: Cynics.
When should you watch this movie: When you’re ready to give up. When you’re curious about the TV show and want to see the source material.
The sell: It’s hard to say what went wrong with this movie because it was so many things. The deeply tragic part of it is that there were so many good ideas and none of them were appropriately fleshed out. As dystopian flicks go, the premise is not particularly original but it had the potential to be really exciting. The remainder of humanity crammed on a single train circling the earth is a cool set-up but even that falls flat. So many interesting characters are introduced and none of them are given enough time to develop, and thus the audience has no reason to be invested in their journey. Ironically, the least interesting of these characters is the protagonist, Curtis, played by Chris Evans. For all the reasons Chris Evans makes a great Captain America, he makes a terrible Curtis Everette. In some ways, he’s too charismatic to convincingly play a traumatized and hardened fighter. Since there is no time for backstory and character development, his motivations are crammed into a horrible monologue about cannibalism in the last 20 minutes of the movie. Bong Joon-Ho’s characteristic class commentary lacks its usual subtlety and misses the mark by prioritizing action over relationships. The writing is, for lack of a better term, dumb. There is one standout performance. Tilda Swinton as Minister Mason is phenomenal – towing the line between comedy and pure evil. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to save this movie from disappointment.