Snowpiercer is Being Dumbed Down for Western Audiences

Jason McDonald

SnowpiercerI know that sounds like an inflammatory title, but if film critic and programer Tony Rayns is to be believed, it’s exactly what is happening to Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer.”

The film was just recently released in Joon-ho’s native home of South Korea where it’s doing extremely well in that market.  It’s also receiving heaps of critical praise from outlets like The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.  So it begs the old idiom “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?”

Well, according to Tony Rayns, The Weinstein Company (who is handling the international distribution) is looking to dumb down the film so it’ll be easier to digest for western audiences in America, Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand.

TWC people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film ‘will be understood by audiences in Iowa … and Oklahoma. Leaving aside the issue of what Weinstein thinks of its audience, it seems to say the least anomalous that the rest of the English-speaking world has to be dragged down to the presumed level of American mid-west hicks.

Rayns went on to say that many of the cuts will surround character moments and details and take the film in a much more action-oriented direction.  Currently the film is only 126 minutes in length so 20 minutes will represent a substantial chunk of story that’ll be missing from the film when it comes our way.

It’s a huge disappointment for anyone excited to see the next project from Bong Joon-ho and worst yet, there isn’t much we can do about it.  If you decide to not watch the movie in theaters, you’re hurting a filmmaker you like.  If you go and see it, you’re endorsing a practice of butchering foreign films.  What’s a moviegoer supposed to do?  Perhaps if people keep voicing their disappointment TWC might reconsider their decision.  It’s a longshot, but it’s the only thing people can do at this point.

The upcoming sci-fi thriller focuses in on an Earth that has been decimated by a new Ice Age.  The last remnants of humanity are forced to take shelter in a train powered by perpetual-motion known as the “Snow Piercer.”  Unfortunately, a class system starts to form within the train and soon rumors of revolution begin to spread.

The film stars Chris Evans, Song Kangho, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Brewmner, Alison Pill, John Hurt and Ed Harris. No release date has been set yet.

Source: Twitch

1 Comment

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      1. saahdrahcir93 August 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm

        I’m not going to see it in theaters. It’s a shame, but I don’t want to see something that insults my intelligence. I love Bong Joon-ho and thought The Host was brilliant, but I am not a fan of altering a movie in a big way like this. I guess I’ll just wait for the DVD release, hopefully that will have the missing 20 minutes. Joon-ho will unfortunately have to get his well deserved money through DVD sales instead of the cinema.