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2267 and Earth has become almost uninhabitable due to environmental deterioration. The human race now populates overcrowded space stations orbiting the planet, whilst dreaming of being able to afford the trip to live on the paradise-like planet Rhea. Desperate to raise the money for the trip so she can reunite with her family Dr Laura Portmann (Anna-Katherine Schwabroh) signs up for a job aboard the cargo ship Kassandra, on an 8 year trip to a space station in Rhea’s orbit. On board, each crew member spends much of the voyage in hibernation, each waking for a solitary 8 month shift monitoring the ships operations. Nearing the end of her vigil, Laura begins to suspect she may be being watched, and hearing sounds from within the hold of the ship. Along with security chief Samuel Decker (Martin Rapold) she awakens the captain and the rest of the crew to investigate the dark recesses of the cargo bay. Gruesome discoveries are soon made and fractures appear in the crew’s relationships, then Laura and Decker uncover Kassandra’s true destination and what secret cargo she carries…. Compelling, artistic and chilling, Cargo was the closing film of the 2010 Sci-Fi London Film Festival.
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Top Customer Reviews
Cargo is an excellent film, although it is filmed in German, the dialogue is terse and sporadic and the subtitles more than compensate for the language. What struck me about this film was just how atmospheric it was, I found myself holding my breath at one or two points in the film, frozen in suspense. The mark of an excellent film in my view. I have never been so afraid of a simple shot of a door (The broken bulkhead door between the ship and the cargo containers) and the long panning shots of the gate only heighten the tension. The interior is very reminscent of A Space Odyssey and even some of the outside scenes follow on, with some extremely retro space-suits and great panning arcs of the ship. The premise of a stow-away sabotaging the ship is similar to Sunshine and the neuro-networks are straight out of The Matrix.Read more ›
Unfortunately, Cargo has shortcomings in other areas. The plot - a sort of futurist eco-thriller - is not particularly original. This wouldn't matter if it were worked out less predictably: but most viewers will have guessed what is really happening long before the 'revelations'. This problem is compounded by what seems to be an error of pacing, in which the central plot device is revealed too early. As a result, the final section of the film has the feel of a series of dramatic incidents tacked on at the last moment to compensate for the absence of real tension.
The acting is competent, with no real standouts. The dialogue - in German with English subtitles - is a barrier to engagement for those who don't speak German, but the subtitles are literate and seem accurate.Read more ›
As the spaceship approaches its destination, something seems amiss. There seems to be a stowaway on the ship who's messing with the cargo. So the crew, after having awoken from their cryosleep, goes into the massive cargo hold to investigate, and soon meet with various accidents. What is the cargo, you ask? Ah yes - and what is the Matrix?! This film contains many - subtle and not so subtle - references to classic sci-fi films, including 2001, Matrix, Aliens and Cube; the cargo hold is arranged much like the cubes in the eponymous 1997 film, and occasionally rearrange themselves. But Cargo does not rip these films off; rather, it pays homage to them. It consciously uses them for the purpose of placing itself firmly in the history of the genre.
The film is, somewhat surprisingly, not sci-fi/horror (although it does contain at least one horror cliché, which however turns out to have a rational explanation), but actually straight sci-fi, which warms the cockles of this reviewer's heart. The story is relatively simple, but constantly keeps you guessing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Though it's in German with English subtitles, its an enjoyable, well directed movie. The ending rather too formulaic... spoiler alert!Published 12 days ago by Chico
A poignant view of the future. Great film for those who love a conspiracy.Published 1 month ago by CJB
Yes, the plot was predictable and maybe the film borrowed a bit from other SciFi movies, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. Read morePublished 3 months ago by JohnH
German sub titles but didn't distract from keeping your curiosity going. Worth a watchPublished 4 months ago by Jason Pender