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|Index||54 reviews in total|
First of all I'm a bit curious about the low rating of the movie here
(6,4). This is a great movie raising all sorts of questions to the
viewer. Which is what a good movie is supposed to do. Identity, sense
of belonging, isolation, and the essence of the human nature are just
some of the things the movie touches on. Yeah there are plot points
that have been explored before in other movies but seriously who cares?
It's how you portray those situations and plot. So I wasn't
disappointed there. In fact I wasn't disappointed at all!! A brilliant
film that will speak to the audience that loved, "moon".
Congrats to all the people involved in this movie. Hope someday it'll be released on Bluray.
Cargo is dazzling, mystifying, sometimes scary, and is able to
manipulate a rather familiar plot to seem less familiar. That last one
however, is just as much a weakness as it is a strength. The film's
problems are not on the screen, but on the pages.
Cargo contains a weighty story line, with questionable focus and a lack of coherency. There are also places where the movie feels draggy and repetitive. Characterization gets off the ground but not quite to the degree of emotion that was probably intended.
Anyone who sees Cargo is gonna wish they had seen it in theatres. Its greatest achievement is photography. I liked Cargo for its mystique and stylistic choices, but the writing and construction need a tune up. Its facade is perfect but its soul is murky, and its story is disoriented which does not allow us to appreciate Cargo to the full.
As breathtaking as it is substantial, Swiss film Cargo is what good
science fiction should be: compelling, artistic and effective. One of
the film's many strengths is its hypnotic quality. From the opening
scenes of an alluring foliage-laden planet that characters hope to
settle in lieu of an uninhabitable Earth, viewers are pulled into a
world of meticulously-crafted sights and sounds.
The story of Dr. Laura Portmann (Anna-Katharina Schwabroh) soon unfolds, and her journey as a medic on cargo ship Kassandra quickly turns mysterious when it becomes clear she's not the only one awake during her lonely shift. The plot increases in complexity as details are revealed, but its not what happens that gives the film its power. It's the way the discoveries are revealed.
Characters travel crowded corridors that reference and live up to science fiction's finest (hello, Ridley Scott)! Dripping water, fan-scattered light and layered audio work alternate between backdrop and foreground, heightening suspense and making the film's world all the more tangible. Directors Ivan Engler and Ralph Etter also bring signature elements to the table, such as the prevalent cold temperature on the ship and the eerie gel that surrounds characters as they enter cryo sleep.
Also noteworthy is the way Cargo manages to be simultaneously epic and personal. There is action and there is scope, but there is also poignancy. Science fiction fans will recognize that this is rare, which is likely a part of why many viewers have embraced this film with such excitement.
It's not often that a science fiction film of this caliber finds its way to viewers, and, as one lucky audience at this year's South by Southwest Film Festival discovered, seeing this gem on the big screen is magic. Hopefully Cargo will get the American theatrical release it deserves.
Note: I reviewed this film for Suite101.com
When I watched the science fiction movie CARGO" I was astonished.
Cargo is a low budget movie with a superb look and an amazing story.
The film was entirely shot in Switzerland - a country not at all known
for producing science fiction movies.
The story is solid and involving. It develops steadily, gets more and more momentum and works its way to a climax with some very nice twists and breathtaking space scenes.
I was fascinated during the entire movie how these guys were able to produce such a good looking film with so many special effects for such a small budget. The sounddesign as well is an outstanding piece of art. I recommend to watch "CARGO" in a theatre equipped with a very good sound system.
"CARGO" is a must-see, it guarantees a lot of excitement.
Without spoiling anything, I want to recommend this movie as a real
thriller where nothing is as it seems, but everything makes sense in
the end. And it is a fresh look on a VERY IMPORTANT issue, giving a
wonderful but sad perspective on it.
If you like "big thinking" in SciFi, this movie will give you the visuals on how huge things can get in zero gravity, with a beautiful space city in the beginning and a cargo ship the size of the empire state building.
While it is a little bit lengthy, I think this is a necessary part to truly give you the cold and lonely feeling of space, and so to make you appreciate the ending and conclusion.
Just keep sitting, and you will understand ...
I'm so glad that I overlooked some of the poor responses posted about
this film and rented it.
I found it absolutely riveting - and beautiful.
The first few minutes recall aspects of the BladeRunner modern cityscape - but on steroids, with the aid of modern day visual effects. The plot is interesting and unfolds nicely keeping your interest and attention. No big stars, no truly stellar performances, but the story line is solid and I was so taken in by it, that I'm going to watch it again tonight, with someone else who's not yet seen it. Some mesmerizing visuals and scenarios. The lighting is particularly strong, creating great ambiance and dramatic effect, without drawing too much attention to itself. This movie is about human frailty, various emotions and connections, about the work we do in order to follow our dreams. It also relates feelings of being small, powerless, and becoming disconnected because of technology - assessing trust in others and in the systems which dominate our lives, searching for 'truth' and authentic experiences...
A very unconventional melding of ideas which for me, worked on many different layers.
Highly worth a trip for any Sci-Fi lover.
Take one part Matrix, one part Event Horizon, add half a measure of Alien, a dash of Solaris and gently stir. Cargo delivers what many sci-fi films fail to deliver these days, and that is real style as well as substance. It's easy to set a 'shoot-em-up' in space or a detective story, but Cargo has so much more. It's moody without being cloying, it's scary without cheap horror tactics, it's thought provoking, it delivers twists and turns, and it is not predictable. It is hard to classify Cargo as it has many elements, and this is what makes it so engrossing. The acting is believable i.e. being in space for a long time leads to quirky behaviour, people will do anything for a better life, and who can you trust? This is absolutely not a Hollyvoid film with predictable characters and lame values. Instead, Cargo delivers a thoughtful and absorbing film that ranks alongside classics such as Solaris (not the Clooney version).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK, Fist of all: I was severely impressed by the fact that I could not
find an (what I thought to be) English original Soundtrack.. I was
misled by the looks of this movie as to be a lower budget Hollywood
offspring.. whoa, OK, so the Original Soundtrack is German..
interesting! Actually (as I learned now) it's swizz made.. Well
Swizerland is famous for cheese, and the main feature of most cheese
is.. holes in it! To bad the went with that..
First, I must say the props and the looks are very very good, and I must also say more CGI would not have been necessary for me... but even in the first 20 minutes I start noticing Logic holes that are just not right.. Like: The Space station consists of rotating rings (the rotation creates artificial gravity), but when our main character enters the axis of such a Ring, she does not become weightless or anything.. she just walks through there, OK, Door passed, thank you.. Although the Bulk door (and the camera zooms in on that to show this nice detail) has a sign saying "beware of change of gravity (or such..) But. Aaaahhh!! Logic! If I make the effort of creating such a nice setup and details as the Rotating station (which use was explained back in Stanley Cubricks 2001 Space Oddyssey), why don't I stay with it? OR put in a feature that explains why she's not floating around..
.. and irrational acting of the characters.. Like in the scene where she discovers the "Maschinenstürmer" Activist who is a stowaway on board.. They Struggle, and someone shoots him, and the FIRST thing she does is like taking a good look around.. going through the stuff she finds.. not asking herself who just saved her life maybe? (the question kind of comes up about 2 Minutes later.. but is never really given much weight) Then, The oppressive regime that is obviously creating this whole lie about Reha is not monitoring the data streams? hello?? Opressice Regime 101 is what? Like she can upload her (what must look like from the perspective of the Regime) terrorist message right to the Newsfeed of the Spacestation back close to earth to kick off a riot ? Like she can share(via what i take as an equivalent of a cellphone) very very confidential about what they just found in the Cargo section (that they are not at all allowed to pen, but hey..) information with her Sister, and no one notices this? The Ship has NO movement sensor whatsoever to actually monitor the crew on the ship while only one person is supposed to be on watch? And, yea, they travel 4 Years to an ass end of Space, blow up some communication device.. and no one can actually go there and Fix it, just to declare this another failed attempt of the (from the oppressive regime POV) Terrorists..? There is more of these Logic errors in there, Like Message traveling Time: It was used at some point in the plot, and then totally ignored at another. She notices the response time of her sister is increasing and therefore that they are closing in on reha. She even discusses this with the tech engineer who says "it usually takes months", but later her Message from Reha back to earth about the truth of Reha is received there almost instantly..
... and so on... I must say this really ruined the movie for me. It could have been Great, the looks and the feel is super, the Story setup is good, Nice twist in the story, the revealing of the true evil is kind of foreseeable but still good, the acting is kind of stiff sometimes, but OK... but the logic.. I can't go with that. And the discrepancy between the bad Script writing's missing logic and the rest of the movie is so huge! Like usually crappy scripts also have a crappy looking movie and bad actors.. here. One aspect messes it up for the rest.
So sad Axel
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First off, although I am in possession of a Swiss passport, I am in no
way inclined to believe that the Swiss have a genetic advantage when it
comes to filmaking, contrary to what many of my fellow citizens seem to
Cargo is by no means a terrible piece of work, but suffers from problems that should have been apparent when viewing the finished movie. As any other director, Mr. Engler appears to have invested a reasonable amount of time crafting a believable beginning, a first few scenes creating a backdrop for the viewer in case things would start falling apart. A gigantic space station rendered with respectable detail (especially considering the budget of 5 million Swiss francs) is shoved in the viewers face within a minute of the film's beginning, which is fine, because it consists of spinning parts, shiny things, and a ridiculous number of lights. This is where most humans now reside after we've managed to turn the Earth into something about as habitable as nuclear testing grounds.
All humans aboard this station have one goal in common, to scrape together enough money to travel to the distant planet of Rhea, a place that closely resembles certain pretty parts of Switzerland in Autumn (coincidence?). The movie now begins to tell the tale of a small ship on it's way to Rhea. Ultimately, in a series of undramatic events, we find out that Rhea is actually a simulation and that the destination of the ship is a docking station outside the planet that contains millions of humans in a cryogenic state AND that the ship does not contain building materials but instead people in boxes with pipes attached to them. Whoever does not the see the parallel to the Matrix is kidding themselves because this is more than an inspiration, this is almost a blatant remake.
The issue not only lies in the premise of the movie, which is so overly clichéd and, as mentioned, copied, that it brought a tear to my eye, but also in the execution. It is obvious that the crew is in a small ship solely because of a low budget. The same goes for the number of actors that can be counted using both hands and one foot. The last half hour of the movie is basically terrible, which is to a large part due to the hilarious space suits worn by the actors (good luck finding a role as an astronaut in the future, think 50's space suit with fur on it), but also due to the terrible camera angles showing the actors in their terrible space suits. There is an off-camera sex scene that is as out of place as a racist joke at a funeral and I found it odd that the voice acting of half of the crew members sounded as though it had been dubbed from German to German by another man with more charisma. Then we have the logical holes the size of meteor craters that can only be explained by teleportation or magic. A man gets shot by another man although the man with the gun was captured behind a closed metal door before he shot the other man. Or what about the woman in the furry astronaut suit managing to perfectly hit the suddenly extremely slow moving space ship with her jetpack as its flying past her. By the way, this same space ship has a insanely cool ability to become either ten times larger or ten times smaller, depending if you're inside the ship or looking at it from the outside. Kind of like those crazy tents they have in Harry Potter. Would have been even more cool if it had been intentional.
The biggest problem is that the story never seems to get going and I didn't find it very exhilarating to watch the same woman walk through the same dark corridors more times that I blink my eyes each day. It all just seems a bit pointless and the supposedly epic ending just falls short of being gripping in any way. Whilst I do take my hat off for effort, this movie took 9 years to make, I'm going to go ahead and make the bold statement that we Swiss should stick to making cheese and chocolate and Hollywood can take care of film-making.
Switzerland's first attempt at sci-fi, and Ivan Engler's first feature
film, Cargo harks back to numerous icons of science fiction cinema
everything from The Thing to The Matrix, and, most notably, Ridley
Scott's Alien. It belongs to that particular breed of dystopian science
fiction where the world is ruined and the human race is living on
Cargo is a competent sci-fi, but it's nothing special. The first half is effectively tense and engaging, but it loses its way towards the end. Visually stunning considering the budget, but unfortunately, it's nowhere near original or creative enough to be considered a particularly revolutionary sci-fi film. SSP
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