Cargo – film review

A review of an under-rated sci-fi thriller.

Cargo is a Swiss science fiction that’s thought-provoking and strangely beautiful.

The film begins in a space station orbiting a dead earth. The station is full of filth, unhappiness, disease and people who want to escape to the terra-formed paradise planet Rhea. Unfortunately, Rhea is only for the very rich or extremely lucky.

The plot follows Doctor Laura Portman (Anna Katharina Schwabroh) as she joins the crew of the spaceship Kassandra in an attempt to raise enough cash to join her sister on Rhea. As part of her job on the ship, Portman has to spend 8 1/2 months alone while the others are in cyber-sleep. Towards the end of her shift, Portman starts to hear noises that cause her to question her sanity.

This kicks off a science fiction thriller/mystery plot. The mystery is the strongest aspect of the show. With co-directors Ivan Engler and Ralph Etter masterfully keeping the audience on the edge of their seats by slowly ratcheting up the tension.

Unfortunately, the movie does somewhat lose its way when the on-ship mystery is solved, leading to a weaker final quarter of the movie. There is also a slightly unnecessary love story tacked onto the film, which only serves to leach time from the plot.

But, overall, Cargo is still a hidden gem of a movie that’s well worth a watch. The cinematography is excellent and the movie asks enough questions to keep it interesting to the end.

Above all, Cargo will stay with you well after you’ve finished watching. And that, for me, is the acid test for any film. It’s why Cargo is on our list of most underappreciated science fiction movies.

 

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