The Abridged Script
In the prologue, HUMANITY decides to deal with all the SHIT IN THE AIR by putting EVEN MORE SHIT IN THE AIR which FUCKS EVERYTHING. Earth FREEZES and the few surviving humans board THE POLAR EXPRESS: EXTREME MAKEOVER EDITION, also known as the SNOWPIERCER.
INT. THE SNOWPIERCER -- TAIL SECTION
Grimy downtrodden humans CHRIS EVANS, OCTAVIA SPENCER, JOHN HURT, and JAMIE BELL are busy being downtrodden and grimy.
For 17 years we've been stuck here in grimy downtroddenness, kept under armed guard in squalor and filth. And the snack cart always runs out JUST before reaching us. Fuckers.
It's terrible how society has become so COMPARTMENTALIZED, how we have no hope of ADVANCING to become FIRST CLASS citizens.
Holy shit, this might be the clunkiest, least subtle social analogy I've ever seen, and I've done Doctor Who.
Hey guys, it's time for our daily gelatinous protein bars! But we gotta be sure to find the one with the secret message inside. We've been planning our whole revolution around them.
Damn, mine only has a plastic Homer Simpson in it. Octavia, can you help us trade for the one we need?
Huh? How come I'm the protein-bar-acquiring wizard? Just because I've maintained some measure of badonkadonk after 17 years of strict rations, why would that mean okay fine here it is.
Grr, we need to take some of your children! We have a horribly overstretched metaphor in the front compartment and it's taking all we have to barely hold it together!
GUARDS grab OCTAVIA'S KID and a CRAZY GUY'S KID. CRAZY GUY chucks his SHOE in anger which leads to TILDA SWINTON, playing AUSTIN POWERS'S WACKY AUNT from the UGLY SIDE OF THE FAMILY, being summoned.
(teeth jutting out everywhere)
We must mete out terrible punishment, because, who throws a shoe? Honestly!
GUARDS grab CRAZY GUY and stuff his ARM through a specially designed HOLE IN THE OUTER WALL!
Now I'll calculate PRECISELY how much time it will take, given the altitude and extreme outside cold, to completely fuckbone this dude's arm. And strangely, even though it'll later prove to be not AS cold out as I think, my calculations are spot-on.
They bring CRAZY GUY'S NOW-FROZEN ARM inside so a GUARD can SMASH IT TO BITS. The actual shattering happens OFFSCREEN despite the lack of BLOOD or GORE it would involve, giving the movie less balls than TIMECOP.
INT. LATER THAT NIGHT
God it sucks in here. There's nothing to read but Arrive Magazine and all the damn crosswords are filled out already.
I wish my Mom was here.
Yeah. It's too bad you don't have more memories of her, like oh let's say, that time she was killed by a dude who totally wasn't me.
You still don't remember, right?
I was so young, I can barely... well, I can almost... nah, it's gone.
AWWWW SHIIIT THAT WAS CLOSE SON, PHEEE-EWWWW I mean, how tragic.
INT. TAIL SECTION - NEXT MORNING
I have a hunch the guards are out of bullets. See, I just dared them to shoot me in the head, and they couldn't! Let's revolt!!
Couldn't start with the shoulder, could you. Right, off we go!
They use a GIANT TUBE to block the doors and reach the next car, which has GUARDS!
Did NOT plan for that. Guess we're fucked.
SURPRISE PARKOUR GUY
Or you WOULD be if not for me, Surprise Parkour Guy!!
(opens can of whoopass)
Knew we should have shut down that illegal martial-arts training and practice facility tucked behind that one food barrel!! AAARGHHH
CHRIS finds SONG KANG-HO and his daughter KO AH-SUNG in a DRAWER.
Hey there, I'm the very latest in interpretive techno-jewellery! Sometimes I'll talk, and sometimes we'll have subtitles instead. And heck, maybe the occasional bad overdub, for shits and giggles.
(in cheesy 70s voiceover)
No, look, we need your help. You're the only one who can crack the locks on every other car! Since we need you fully alert and sharp-minded to succeed, we'll pay you in drugs.
You mean the drugs that are also HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE, in case we need to EXPLODE something later?
Ah, yes, those.
Sure is odd that I'm addicted to this HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE substance. Better keep it in a different pocket from this ONE MATCH I have left.
Plot-Resolution Device Setup: complete. Anyway, I insist we bring my daughter with us. She's clairvoyant you know, because being stuck on a train for 17 years gives you psychic powers.
INT. INDUSTRIAL KITCHEN CAR
In the kitchen they find CRAZY CHEF GUY!
CRAZY CHEF GUY
You'd be nuts too if you were the only cook left for the entire human race. How many times do I have to say NO SUBSTITUTIONS for fuck's sake?!? Anyway good news, I just made a fresh batch of gelatinous protein bars!
Oh my God... the protein bars are made of... BUGS! AW GAWD NOT BUGS!! Mind you, we learn later I've eaten human babies, but EEEWWWWWWW GROSSSSS
That's it? Bugs? People eat bugs in real life, in the present, both on and off reality TV shows. It couldn't be something a LITTLE more disturbing?
The next DOOR opens to reveal LOTS AND LOTS OF GUARDS OH FUCK!
END OF THE ROAD, ASSHOLES! Though we might let you pass if you can defeat us in a three-part culinary challenge to create the PERFECT... CHARRED SEA BASS!!
(expertly fillets, debones fish)
We'd rather just fight if that's okay.
They FIGHT! LOTS and LOTS of FIGHT happens until, no shit, an ALERT sounds and the GUARDS all take a break to shout HAPPY NEW YEAR. Then it's back to FIGHTING!
Okay guys, if we can just hold our own until February 14th, I have a new plan.
Wait, everyone! Some SNOW has fallen on the tracks! We'll have to PIERCE it!
The SNOW damn near DERAILS THE ENTIRE FUCKING TRAIN even though you'd think it's the ONE THING that a train named SNOWPIERCER should be able to do NO SWEAT.
Lucky we've never had to pierce any ice or fallen rock these past 17 years, huh.
A-ha, NOW we've entered a pitch-dark tunnel, and WE'RE the only ones with infra-red goggles! You're fucked!
Shit, we really are. You should kill us all in three seconds.
Yeah, we should. But can we offer that fish-cooking challenge again? Please? We reeeeeally miss MasterChef.
Well surprise, we have torches! Back to fight time!!
QUITE A LOT more FIGHTING happens! The GUARDS are reinforced by TWO GUYS IN SUITS who proceed to kick major ass!! One of them approaches JAMIE from behind!
Damn, I can either grab Tilda before she escapes, or save Jamie! Which to do?
ARRGH I AM TOTALLY COMING BACK TO GET YOU WITH A BIONIC ARM AND NO MEMORY
KO AH-SUNG totally IMPALES one of the SUIT GUYS! CHRIS and the REBELS WIN the fight!
Nice work, kid. Did you use your clairvoyance for that move?
No, I used a large pointy metal thing.
Huh. Will there ever be a reason for throwing psychic powers into our already-crowded mix of future-steampunk-dystopia-action-movie-class-struggle-metaphor?
Not really. It won't achieve anything that good hearing or just noticing shit wouldn't do.
Okay, everyone rest up, then we'll make Tilda lead us to the front car. The guards will either kill her or flee in terror, so I figure it's a win-win.
INT. LATER THAT NIGHT
CHRIS and JOHN have a HEART-TO-HURT.
You're such a good leader with your one arm and one leg. I could never be as good a leader with my two hunky arms.
You're referring to how I sacrificed my arm, years ago, to restore order to the tail section. But it's not losing the arm, Chris, it's the sacrifice. It could be anything.
(smacking own head)
Stupid useless me with my toned biceps and chiseled jaw and superheroic screen presence!! I suck!!
Dear God but you are missing the point. It's NOT THE ARM. I'd love to have two arms, especially for fucking. It's tricky to fuck with my one arm, you see.
Oh, how I miss the fucking. I used to fuck twice before breakfast. And then during breakfast. Then I'd fuck my breakfast. Honestly Chris, you haven't lived until you've been balls-deep in a good Eggs Benedict.
INT. RIPLEY'S AQUARIUM CAR
The gang find a SUSHI BAR and begin CHOWING DOWN.
No! No raw fish for you, Tilda. Instead you eat processed raw bugs. So there!!
OH WHAT BITTER GROOVY VENGEANCE IS THIS, BABY
(froths at mouth)
INT. WES ANDERSON SCHOOLROOM CAR
The gang find a bunch of BRATTY KIDS being taught by international-superstar-thanks-to-staggering-success-of-SCOTT-PILGRIM-hey-a-guy-can-dream ALISON PILL.
So you see class, when the man who built the Snowpiercer was little, he dreamed of a train going round and round the world. And then he grew up and built it because he was a fucking whackjob. And people went along with it because otherwise there's no movie.
Teacher, please tell my daughter the tale of the Seven, who left the train and died. Unless we're trying to set up a prequel in which case FUCK THAT SHIT.
Then, maybe you could explain what happens when any of the zillion miles of track all over Earth get damaged or have metal fatigue or are compromised in any way whatsoever.
Sorry guys, I have to finish indoctrinating these children so they can someday assume leadership of our society without questioning it. Oh but wait, that would mean something about this train makes any sense, what am I saying. Our future leadership depends on playing complex psychological games on grown adults, yes, THAT'S more like it.
Er, what do you mean by--
EGG DELIVERY MINION
Hallo! I've brought eggs for everyone! Delicious eggs for all the hungry revolutionaries!
This could be a trick. Maybe the eggs are poisoned, or have micro-receivers in them. We can't rule out some kind of dastardly, clever subterfuge.
Or there are semiautomatics under the eggs that I'm gonna shoot you with, but sure, your idea's good too, honest.
Hey, you guys are supposed to be out of bullets!
It's amazing what you can build from processed dead bugs. Now die!
My veteran British acting savvy tells me this movie's only going to get more ridiculous from here on out. Seems like a good time to get killed off.
Right there with you, baby!
Dammit! C'mon Chris, grab a gun, and let's go!
Yes, we must continue our epic cat-and-mouse pursuit with the train's guards, where each of us can only go forward or back along a single path! What thrills!
INT. NEXT CAR
Woah, there's a large curve in the tracks, and I can see Other Suit Guy, three cars back! I should shoot him!
(using Semaphore flags)
Okay but be sure to take cover, or he'll shoot you.
Screw that! We'll both stand perfectly still in plain view, take veeeeery careful aim, and fire exactly one shot at each other. It's in keeping with our samurai code of honour or some bullshit.
CHRIS and OTHER SUIT GUY both MISS, so WHOOP-DEE-FUCK.
INT. SAUNA CAR
An entire car full of saunas? Did we really run out of essential functions already? How did this make the list?
OTHER SUIT GUY
Oh just wait till you see the next one. Those of you that survive that is!! Now for yet another really, really long fight scene!! I don't care what Weinstein says, there's no way anyone could find 20 minutes to cut out of this movie!!
OTHER SUIT GUY manages to kill SURPRISE PARKOUR GUY and OCTAVIA SPENCER before succumbing to any one of a dozen or so FATAL WOUNDS. He does NOT pop up later for yet another FINAL FIGHT because that would be SKULL-MELTINGLY IDIOTIC. Meanwhile our heroes enter...
INT. RAVE CAR FULL OF RAVING RAVERS
NOW you are just fucking shitting me, oh wait, I forgot this was 1996.
WE'VE KEPT THIS RAVE GOING NON-STOP FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS DON'T JUDGE US OKAY WE JUST LOVE RAVING
Our winter heroes soldier on, making their way through the SENTINEL PROTOTYPE CAR and the MECHANICAL-TIMER NUKE CAR before finally reaching the PENULTIMATE CAR.
INT. PENULTIMATE CAR
CHRIS, SONG KANG-HO, and KO AH-SUNG approach the FINAL DOOR with trepidation.
Going by sci-fi tradition, the final boss will either be a computer, or somebody famous. Let's find out which.
They open the FINAL DOOR to reveal... ED HARRIS!!
Shockingly, Chris's rebellion was all part of my master plan to maintain the current system.
Matrix Reloaded, I win!
(holds up match)
Fifth Element, no you don't!
SONG KANG-HO EXPLODES all the DRUGS, causing an AVALANCHE which TOTALLY FUCKS THE TRAIN and sends most of it HURTLING OFF A CLIFF thus killing the VAST MAJORITY OF HUMANITY. But he and CHRIS sacrifice themselves to save KO AH-SUNG so it's all good.
Phew, I'm alive! And hey, so is Octavia's kid! And possibly zero other people.
They limp out of the TRAIN and onto the FROZEN BARREN WORLD... except...
Look, a polar bear! Life has returned! It's gonna be okay!
OH GOOD YUMMY FRESH MEAT, IT'S BEEN FUCKING AGES