Cargo

If (when) the zombie apocalypse happens, please feel free to refer back to this post, which will justify your bullet in my brain. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. The truth is, I am not a survivalist. I don’t want to live without hot baths, good wine, soft cheese, manicures, memory foam, air conditioning, smooth legs, clean fingernails, diamond earrings. I never want to run because I have to. I don’t even like to camp. Fight for my life? I avoid sales so I don’t have to fight for the last pair of 7.5 patent leather Mary Janes. So if shit hits the fan, I’m checking out. Even if it turns out the zombie outbreak was really just a particularly gross strain of the flu, I promise not to mind. This is a risk I’m willing to take in order to ensure that I never spend a day hungry, or cold, or scared out of my mind, or wearing yesterday’s underwear, or having unminty breath – and yes these things are all EQUALLY repugnant to me.

Cargo is about a man who is not as smart as I am (I could start every single review save The Theory of Everything with that sentence, and I just may). Andy (Martin Freeman) and his wife and baby daughter are surviving by avoiding land altogether and sticking to their house boat. But when his wife gets injured, it’s either probably die from zombies or MV5BMjUwNzYzNzg1N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjM1MDcyNTM@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_definitely die from blood loss. And again they choose wrong and head inland, where poor Andy has the unenviable task of keeping his family alive when every single other thing wants them dead.

Cargo is newly arrived on Netflix, where we are promised both a “thrilling” and “emotional” ride and ohmygod yes. I hid under the blanket so much, both to convince my rapidly beating heart to vacate my throat and get back into the cavity from whence it came, and to sob unobserved (the dogs get overly concerned).

This movie wins because it’s not about the zombies. In fact, the zombies aren’t really the villains (and why would they be, any more than lions are villains; they’re simply acting the way they must). Instead we focus on just a handful of people fleeing them. It’s character-driven, and casts some very capable people to show that off, not least of all Martin Freeman who broke my fucking heart. And the film is further improved by the baked Australian landscape, which is all that and a bag of Tim Tams.

I don’t normally have the heart, or the stomach, for a zombie movie, but exceptions must be made for one this good.

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32 thoughts on “Cargo

  1. indiefan20

    I’ve wanted to see this since I watched a trailer about a month ago, I’m glad to hear you like it. 🙂 I really liked Martin Freeman but I started feeling he was actually a really strong actor when I watched the first season of “Fargo.”

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  2. mydangblog

    So it’s not a comedy? I might check it out then! Also, you are definitely a woman after my own heart–I could relate to everything you said, and the thought of being splattered by zombie blood after I kill one makes me quake with dread more than the actual zombies do.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Keep an eye out for the government-issued “so you’re turning into a zombie” kits – the kill method made me scream out loud but the graphics in the pamphlet made me laugh out loud.

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    1. Jay Post author

      I know! Luckily, the writers seem to agree that we already know everything there is to know about zombies, so they focus on the humans instead, and humans will always find new and exciting ways to mess everything up!

      Liked by 3 people

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  3. bookbeachbunny

    I like to tell myself I could survive the apocalypse but probably not. I’d probably be done when the electricity went. I will check out the movie though 🙂 I haven’t seen Freeman in a role like this and it sounds interesting. Thanks!

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  4. le0pard13

    Isn’t this Netflix’s full-length version of the Australian short film from about five years back? Which was pretty heartfelt and heartbreaking in its mere seven minutes span (you’ve been warned, and spoil-alert):

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. J.

    Watched this one on Saturday night and thought it was pretty great. Don’t know how I’d cope in Andy’s situation, but Freeman was brilliant… and yes, the scorched landscape was wonderful. If I was gonna do zombie apocalypse (or any apocalypse, for that matter), I’d have to do it like that.

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  6. Liz A.

    I’m with you on the apocalypse. Let me die in the first wave. That said, I think I don’t want to see this movie, even if it is good.

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  7. The Inner Circle

    The cheetah and I reviewed the original short film and while I like Martin Freeman,I don’t think you could improve on the short film,it pretty much told its story effectively and beautifully.
    This one will haunt you for a bit.

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  8. MaoPants

    Old post, new to me. I really like this movie, but do you notice netflix movies having some quirk to them? like some of the decisions would have been canned in a normal studio movie? a good example of what i’m referring to would be the shit about floating in Tallulah.

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