Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
Review: In 2014 79 countries took global warming seriously enough to do something to halt it, and released something called CW-7 into the atmosphere. Not only did it stop global warming, it pretty much turned the entire planet into a giant freezer. Now in 2031, the only humans left on the planet are riding on one long train that is on a permanent long distance loop around the world. The people relegated to the back of the train are barely surviving, living in cramped filthy quarters and eating black bars of goop of unknown origin. The back train denizens are not happy, and rumbles of revolt are in the air. The people in the front of the train have the good stuff, and the back of the train have-nots want to get up there. Think of Animal Farm mixed in with Mad Max, and you have an idea of what’s happening here.
All good revolutions need leaders. The wise old philosopher king in exile is Gilliam (John Hurt), who provides sage counsel to firebrand leader Curtis (Chris Evans ). As the train hurtles forward on its never-ending journey (why does it need to speed if there is no destination?), the progress from the back of the train towards the front becomes more enlightening as the passengers discover what is up there. Behind it all is the inventor of the eternal train, and de facto ruler, Wilford (Ed Harris), “Divine Keeper of the Sacred Engine”.
Some critics find this film something of a masterpiece. I felt it started off with purpose and potential, then allowed itself to meander and lose its way. It is a good movie; could have been a lot better if 20 minutes had been trimmed.
Huh? What the ….: For a train blasting along at high speed, you don’t see the cars swaying back and forth during scenes inside.
Hey Wilford – you’re such a freakin’ genius, and managed to have train cars dedicated to sushi bars and an aquarium; do you suppose you could have saved a car to store spare train parts?
Actors To Watch: Back of the train mom (Oscar winner Octavia Spencer ) deserved a much bigger role. Ed Harris is marvelous as the Great and Powerful Oz-like Wilford.
Dialogue Nuggets: “Bullets are extinct”.
“That’s what people in the best place say to people in the worst place”.
“We don’t have time for true natural selection”.