Subscribe to Forte Magazine


In an icy future caused by a bungled cure for global warming, the only survivors of humanity are packed onto one long train constantly circling the frozen planet. The rich who control everything live in luxury in the far distant front; the poor are crammed into cattle cars at the very rear of the train. There in this rolling slum the leader of the underclass, Curtis (Chris Evans), plots an uprising that will take him and his people the length of the train to the engine and control of this rigid class-bound world.
Korean director Park Hoon-jung’s brought together an all-star cast (including John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Soon Kang-ho, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer and Alison Pill) for his adaptation of a French graphic novel and the result is both a thrilling action movie and a savage, spot-on satire of the kind of class-based capitalist society you might see if you look out your window. Constantly inventive on every level and visually stunning both inside and outside the train (as we move up the train some of the fancier carriages are truly surreal), this can and does go from laugh-out-loud comedy to brutal violence in seconds – with bullets “extinct” after seventeen years on the train, axes and clubs are the weapons of choice.
The actual science fiction elements might be a little iffy, but it’s as a satire that this is strongest – and if you’re just after a smart, funny and gripping action movie, this is one not to miss.
Written by Anthony Morris