By Dave B.
Cargo (Netflix), based on the short film of the same name, tells the story of a man attempting to save his child in an Australian outback this overrun by zombies. It’s complete garbage. I can’t understand how it currently has a critic score of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only is it boring, it also features one of the most foolish characters in the history of zombie movies, and that’s really saying something.
Although the acting and cinematography in Cargo are serviceable, the entire movie is based on the main character, Andy (Marin Freeman), making every possible wrong decision in every possible circumstance. And I don’t just mean coin-flip decisions where bad luck or unfortunate timing can lead to disaster. Andy lacks common sense to a truly staggering degree. Here are a few fairly non-spoilery examples:
Any one of these (and many, many other) poor decisions could be understandable as a valid plot device. But all of them combined stretches the bounds of plausibility and removes any sense of empathy that one may feel for Andy as the protagonist.
Further, Cargo is dreadfully boring. The Australian outback isn’t a great setting for a feature-length zombie movie. It’s too open. Slow zombies are usually only a threat if one gets cornered by a large number of them (nearly impossible in the open terrain of the outback) or if one is an idiot (which Andy is). But having the zombie threat rest solely on the stupidity of the protagonist isn’t very compelling, especially when viewers may want him to just hurry up and die.
To make matters worse, the short film Cargo is actually fairly brilliant. It packs more emotional impact into seven minutes than the Netflix version does into 90 minutes. You don't believe me? Check it out for yourself:
Overall, Netflix’s version of Cargo is far, far, far worse than the seven-minute long short film. Netflix allowed a great idea to be ruined, providing further evidence that the company needs to consider instituting some form of quality oversight over its original movies. Save your valuable time and pass on this movie. 4/10