Since the Lumière brothers first frightened audiences with their visceral exploration of locomotive terror, The Arrival Of A Train, the train has been a potent metaphor for an approaching, unstoppable upheaval. Of course, the train might not have been coming directly at those screaming theatergoers, but it might as well have been.
That trend continues with TNT’s television adaptation of Bong Joon-Ho’s class-war fable Snowpiercer. The only difference is when that CGI train barrels toward the camera, viewers who have been hanging out in the very warm waters of cinematic literacy for the last one hundred years aren’t rushing for the exit. We’ve come a long way, baby.
Now entering its third season, Snowpiercer is the first of, apparently, several Bong adaptations to make their way to television—the next being Parasite. The director’s off to a good start because Snowpiercer has a lot going for it, including Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly, Tony-winner Daveed Diggs, and Horn Of Gondor-winner Sean Bean. And you know what? Congratulations to Sean Bean on making it through three seasons without having his character killed off.
The new trailer appropriately introduces a new character, Asha (Archie Panjabi), and a New Eden, one of the rare patches of green left on the snow-covered planet. But not so fast, bullet train that stays in constant motion by zipping around the globe without stopping or it will freeze. Sean Bean’s Mr. Wilford is consolidating power and isn’t interested in having steerage getting any of those delicious inalienable rights humans deserve.
We here at The A.V. Club thought Snowpiercer’s second season was an improvement on the first. In her recap of the finale, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya wrote: “Even when the writing veers onto rougher track, these episodes do ultimately pull of what they set out to do. The action and suspense come together with the central themes of uprising, power, and survival to make for a propulsive and satisfying finale.”
We’ll see if Snowpierecer makes it to the next stop safely on January 24, 2022.