Kick back and watch Cargo and you’ll see some of the usual tropes you’d expect to find in a zombie flick, but (forgive me) it has both brains and heart, being unusual for its character-driven plot. The pace is slow at first, but picks up when the tale expands from being about a family struggling to stay together during a pandemic to an even more desperate father-daughter journey.
Directed by Yolanda Ramke (who also wrote the screenplay) and Ben Howling, this Netflix original movie stars Martin Freeman as Andy, a father who has become infected with the virus after being stranded in rural Australia with his infant daughter, Rosie.
Andy knows he has less than two days to find someone who is willing and able to care for his baby, while he struggles to protect her from his own changing nature. And as he searches for help, he must protect them both from those who have already turned – and from humans who are worse monsters than the zombies.
Giving him hope is an Aboriginal girl he ends up rescuing, Thoomi (Simone Landers), who has been trying, in vain, to protect her own turned father. Thoomi joins him in his agonizing quest to save Rosie.
Martin Freeman is brilliant, as always, and Simone Landers gives an impressive performance as well. I love horror films, but they rarely move me. By the time I watched Cargo’s inevitable ending, I was a little shocked at my emotional response. (The only other time I’ve gotten teary-eyed during a zombie apocalypse tale was when I saw The Girl With All The Gifts.)
So I can’t help it … I must give Cargo four out of five goblins.