Review: Cargo

Netflix may get a lot of stick for releasing generic rubbish, but I really think ‘Cargo’ would’ve struggled to get funding or a wide release through any other studio. For one, it’s a zombie film with a real lack of action, instead focusing on the harrowing task of survival. Setting it in an empty Australia as well as having an indigenous tribes involved may have put studios off as it’s very different from any zombie film that’s fine before. But, as we all know, when something new comes along and works, it really stands out.

…when something new comes along and works, it really stands out.

Andy (Martin Freeman) has a task that is a parent’s worst nightmare. (If you aren’t aware of what it is, I’d recommend clicking straight into the film without reading the synopsis) In a more generic zombie film, what happens would be a subplot, but by giving it the spotlight, it shows an accurate account of what it would actually feel like. The world may be filled with the undead, but this is a film about human nature and at a pretty lean 105 minutes, the film’s pacing runs very smoothly, not rushing out the situation the film presents whilst also not dragging it out unnecessarily.

‘Cargo’ packs a surprisingly big emotional punch and while it’s not one of Netflix’s flashier releases, it’s up there as one of the best.

Since ‘The Hobbit’, Martin Freeman’s stock has risen significantly and he always gives tremendous performances, so it’s no surprise he holds everything together here. Andy’s fear, turmoil, anguish and will to survive are evident throughout the entire run time. He embodies Andy at his worst but thankfully never makes him unlikable, despite what the film puts him through. Susie Porter stars opposite as Andy’s wife Kay and must deal with the circumstances the film throws her character into. They both are trying everything to survive and above all else, keep their infant daughter safe. Other highlights are characters portrayed by Simone Landers, Anthony Hayes and Careen Pistorius (star of the criminally underrated ‘Slow West’ and lead of upcoming blockbuster ‘Mortal Engines) who I won’t delve into as, like the sporadic world the film is set in, it’s more effective when a new player enters the screen not knowing who they are.

As with a lot of Netflix films, they seem to drop with about a week’s notice so it’s often the case that I go into them quite blind. This will defiantly be an advantage for this film as each section unfolds rather brilliantly. If you’re expecting something along the lines of ‘Resident Evil’, look elsewhere. ‘Cargo’ packs a surprisingly big emotional punch and while it’s not one of Netflix’s flashier releases, it’s up there as one of the best.

8/10

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