I know Wenchette started up a good thread on the topic, but I just came back from seeing the movie and wanted to fire off some thoughts in a thread clearly marked for spoilers.
Anyhow, I had not been following the development of this movie at all, so I went into it with minimal background info after coming across it in my local theater listings. I know the movie is in limited theaters, but it has been YEARS since I've been in a theater that packed. Several procrastinators who waltzed in late eyeballed the filled seats and did a 180, presumably to get a refund or exchange their tickets for a later showing.
So on to the thoughts, and again, SPOILERS.
- I was certain the protein blocks were made of PEOPLE. Children, specifically.
- When it was clear the protein blocks weren't made of people, I was certain the children fueled the train.
- When you know what the tail inhabitants did in the first month on the train, it's surprising they were so disgusted that the protein blocks were just gelatinized bugs.
- WTF, the JT Walsh-like head henchman Guy-Who-Will-Not-Die. Franco the Elder I guess. When he got up yet again, a guy sitting near me couldn't contain himself and was halfway out of his seat, smacking his head in WTFness.
- It really seemed like there should have been more cars with different things going on for such a complex, self-sustaining traveling ecosystem. Maybe there are but they were edited out for time? Anyway, seems odd the last cars before the engine were club cars, with fur-coated ravers and a chill lounge.
- The shooting through the windows while the train was wrapping around the bend. A train that is built to protect the last people on earth in extreme weather conditions are so easily shot through with typical guns?
- The translator device. Sometimes they needed it, and sometimes they suddenly just started understanding each other's complete sentences. Ok.
- All the scenes with Wilford were your standard, cliche villain greets the hero in his lair then proceeds to casually-in-my-pajamas-while-makin-bfast explain how it all works and how you must now JOIN ME, etc.
- The ending. Are we supposed to think just two survivors — a 17 year old female and a 5 year old boy — crawling out of a wreck into extremely mountainous, frigid terrain are going to symbolize hope for the continuation of the human race? Eh.
- And the last shot is basically of a polar bear climbing up a mountain side like a goat? I'm all for an environmental message within a story, but that was just cheesy.
- Tilda Swinton as Minister Mason was quite good. Acting overall was pretty good.
- I couldn't help thinking of BioShock throughout the movie, as a number of elements kinda make it the city of Rapture on a train.
Ok, so heavy on the WTF stuff compared to the cool stuff. Yet, up to a point I really did like the movie. It didn't meet my "Do I want to see it a second time?" test though.