Cargo recently debuted on Netflix. I had recently heard about it after seeing that Martin Freeman was going to star and recently watching the short film that inspired this and I was intrigued.
A father trying to find someone to care for his infant daughter in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and is infected himself. Just the idea of it had me pulled in and im already fan of the short film. But how did it actually hold up amongst other great zombie classics or the short film itself? Well…
The film is based off of a short film, of the same name, created by Ben Howling and Yolonda Ramke. The short film told the story of a father trying to find a new home for his infant in the middle of a zombie apocalypse after being bitten. It’s a seven minute motion picture and it is excellent. It currently sits at 14 million views.
Howling and Ramke expanded their short into full feature length movie, still titled Cargo. Martin Freeman plays the father, Andy, and after being bitten he knows he has 48 hours to figure out what to do with his infant, Rosie.
There’s a lot going for this film and a lot of original ideas that could have played out better and I would love to see return in the zombie genre. The film itself is quite moving at times but is very slow paced. We know the inevitable is going to happen and that eventually Andy will turn to a cannibal walking corpse but we know in our hearts that little Rosie will eventually be placed into the hands of trusted caregivers and have the chance of a somewhat normal life. But that is where some of the trouble lies and becomes a little repetitive. And the movie itself seems so much longer than it actually is.
The film is not full of a zombies or zombie violence. It uses the visuals of a barren wasteland with no one around to show that something horrible is going on. Andy has encounters with other survivors and he feels they may be the right ones to take Rosie but then something horrible will happen and it’s on to the next. Andy encounters a young girl with her father, who is already turned into a zombie, and their journey mirrors his own. Their paths intersect at times but it falls flat in means of story telling and never has that big pay off because the film doesn’t want to end there.
The film is moving, emotional, suspenseful and is worth checking out, but may have been much better if it were spread out into a miniseries and had bigger stories to tell with the survivors Andy and Rosie encounter.
Definitely check out the short film, Cargo, whether it’s before or after you watch Netflix’s Cargo.
3 out of 5 stars
- Martin Freeman (Black Panther)
- Anthony Hayes (War Machine)
- Caren Pistorius (Wake in Fright)
- Ben Howling (director)
- Yolanda Ramke (director, writer)
- Russell Ackerman (producer)
- Zak Brilliant (executive producer)
Review written by Daniel Bowers