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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Cargo



Cargo (12)

Dir. Ivan Engler and Ralph Etter

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Fancy a trip to the year 2267? Things have gone a bit downhill over the next 250 odd years…You may not be completely surprised to learn that earth has been rendered uninhabitable thanks to our global warming efforts. As a result we now have to live on space ships (in cryo sleep) or huge space stations which serve as staging posts in the many light year journey to Rhea, a utopian paradise / new earth where life is good.

Getting to Rhea isn’t cheap though and for Dr Laura Portman (Anna Katharina ‘might have seen her in German cop show Tatort’ Schwabroh), her dream of getting a ticket depends on her taking a mission aboard the intergalactic cargo ship ‘Kassandra’. But in space, no one can hear you scream “haven’t I seen this before?” which is just as well as Cargo treads a well worn path in the vein of Alien or Sunshine. At least the filmmakers are copying from the best! Whilst we’re talking about ‘borrowed’ ideas – it won’t take you long to Rhea-lise that the central premise about Rhea is ripped right out of The Matrix (again – not necessarily a bad thing).

So we get some very nice special effects, a brooding big spaceship which holds dark secrets and possible threats, escalating crew tensions and violence – basically exactly what good science fiction fans demand. And although it is suitably harsh and gripping for the first hour, the pace and plot somewhat disappear into a black hole of mediocrity towards the end, which is a shame because if I’d written up this review half way through I’d be hailing Cargo as the Swiss new ‘Moon’.


Directors Ivan Engler and Ralph Etter are definitely ones to watch and sci-fi nuts will find much to enjoy here – not least the exceptional visuals which put to shame many bigger budgeted films.

Providing you’re a fan of sub-titled films, Cargo is a film to savour and should be applauded for adding a decent entry into the more ‘serious’ sci-fi cannon.

Cargo’s brilliance might burn out before the standard jeopardy ending but it’s good to see an ambitious new space mystery burst onto the scene and put a marker down for Swiss films!


Darkmatters rating: ööööööö (7 frosty space voids out of 10)

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