‘Snowpiercer: The Escape’ Graphic Novel Review

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When it comes to Snowpiercer, I only know what I have read in the news. Unless you live in a small number of countries, you haven’t seen the movie (or might have if you found a torrent of it). Either way, it is directed by Joon-ho Bong, the man who brought us the seriously great monster movie The Host.

Despite a great cast, including Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Alison Pill, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris, it has only been released – so far – only in South Korea, France, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietman, Estonia, the United Arab Emirates. Japan and Sweden and Germany gets it in April.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, here ya go

[fresh_video url=”http://youtu.be/pek2kRn-gV8″]

The U.S. finally gets it on June 27, in a limited release. The Weinstein brothers, particularly Harvey Scissor-Hands, wanted to re-cut it so people in places like Oklahoma and Iowa could understand it. As an Oklahoman, Harvey Weinstein can suck it. Bong has been fighting hard for his movie because what Harvey wants to cut out is important character development. Harvey gave in, and most of Middle America may not get to see it in theaters..

SnowpiercerI was sent the first English translation of the French Snowpiercer graphic novel that came out for sale a little while back. It is labeled as Part 1 and is called Snowpiercer: The Escape, and I will tell you one thing – the movie that is advertised in that trailer is NOT in this book. However, I am pretty sure this movie will be the back story to what led to that graphic novel, hence the “inspired by” part of the title.

Basically, Snowpiercer: The Escape starts off with a man escaping the tail of the Snowpiercer train, where disease and hunger are killing everyone. He is caught and ends up meeting a woman who happens to lead a group in the middle of the train who are fighting for the rights of all people – the rich on the front of the train and the poor in the back. The two of them are then taken by armed guards to the front of the train to meet the President. Along the way, we get a good look at how the train runs, where the food comes from, how the living conditions differ as we move forward, and more importantly, how we got to this point.

Remember in the movie 2012, where the governments of the world knew the end was coming and made arks for the rich and powerful to survive on while the rest of the world was kept in the dark? That is pretty much what we have here, except instead of arks, there is a train that had been invented to run non-stop without needing to ever stop to re-fuel, and was used by the rich and powerful to survive when the world went into a global freeze. Only problem was that some people figured out the plan and rushed the train to get on. Those people were left in the back, in cattle cars, where they suffered and died.

There was also talk about an uprising from the tail that took the lives of many people, but was actually a massacre by the military forces of the front car people. The word spread that it was all the tail people who did it and they were now feared even by the lesser middle car people. That is exactly what the trailer for the Snowpiercer movie looks like. As far as I can tell from reading this graphic novel, we are getting the uprising the book only hinted at.

That is very cool.

As it is, the Snowpiercer: The Escape graphic novel is a great read and a very entertaining book. It was written by Jacques Lob and illustrated in black and white by Jean-Marc Rochette and I have to give it a solid recommendation. Let’s be glad the Weinstein Brothers let us see the movie as the director intended it because that original cut has gotten tremendous reviews across the world. If you want to pick up Snowpiercer: The Escape, it is available from Amazon.com.

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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