The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

cloverfield paradox poster 2018 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 4/10

Good cast

Cast is relevant due to generic story and so-so visuals

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:   The Cloverfield Paradox

Studio:   Bad Robot Productions

Genre(s):   Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):   February 4, 2018

MPAA Rating:   Not Rated

cloverfield paradox ava gugu mbatha raw

I’m going to sort of become a generic Ripley character who has lost her family…like Ripley in Aliens

The world is in crisis and on an international space station, a team of scientists hope to find something to save it.  Seeking a new form of energy, the Cloverfield Station is out to activate a particle accelerator.  When the experiment goes wrong, the crew of the Cloverfield Station finds that they are no longer orbiting Earth and the arrival of a strange woman named Mina Jensen (Elizabeth Debicki) indicates that they may be farther from Earth than they ever believed.  While they try to get back to Earth, things on Earth might not be going well as a result of their actions.

Directed by Julius Onah, The Cloverfield Paradox was originally entitled God Particle.  The sci-fi-fantasy film is the third entry in J.J. Abrams Cloverfield series and followed 10 Cloverfield Lane from 2016.  The movie was repeatedly delayed but received a surprise trailer in Super Bowl LII and an immediate release on Netflix following the Super Bowl.

cloverfield paradox chris odowd death

For being scientific geniuses, they’re not that bright…

I found Cloverfield rather “meh” in its presentation and story.  J.J. Abram’s unveiling of the film was interesting and experimental at the time.  10 Cloverfield Lane received a surprise release and turned out to be quite entertaining due to the strong cast.  With the reports that The Cloverfield Paradox would tie the two films together, I had hope…but the film provided a less than satisfying result.  Due to certain aspects of the review a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

Cloverfield introduced a monster coming to Earth (unexplained) and destroying New York City.  10 Cloverfield Lane had a rural countryside destroyed by alien creatures.  The Cloverfield Paradox sets to link the two with the reveal that a particle accelerator tore a hole in reality.  The storyline circulating around the mourning Ava Hamilton (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) has your typical sci-fi clichés when dealing with alternate reality and space stations.  It is a little bit Alien, a little bit Event Horizon, and a little bit Sunshine with additional stock sci-fi themes thrown in.  This unfortunate blend doesn’t create anything new.  If you saw the original Cloverfield, you pretty much know the ending, and an unnecessary storyline involving Ava’s boyfriend Michael (Roger Davies) just feels like time filler…and gives away what little surprise you might have.

cloverfield paradox elizabeth debicki death

Please…don’t kill me! I’m almost a developed character!

It is a real shame because the cast is good, but they make up one of the dumbest bunch of scientists in recent movies.  I liked Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Martha Jones’ opinionated sister on Doctor Who, but it feels like a bad episode of that series.  None of the characters (including her) get a chance to grow or develop.  David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl, Chris O’Dowd, Zhang Ziyi, John Ortiz, Donal Logue, Aksel Hennie, and Elizabeth Debicki never get the opportunity to really become characters you care about due to the pacing and the size of the cast…a paired down crew would have been better.  J.J. Abrams regulars Simon Pegg and Greg Grunberg do have “cameos” with voice work.

cloverfield paradox ending monster

I’d say this was a spoiler, but the movie gave away the ending way before the actual ending….

The movie’s space shots look good, but the interior of the ship looks incredibly cheap.  It looks likes left over sets of Abrams’ Star Trek movies but come off more as Saturn 3 rejects.  It doesn’t help the movie that the Cloverfield Station has a confusing set-up and design…pieces of it just keep blowing up and everything is fine.

The Cloverfield Paradox is a sad follow-up to a rather fun horror-sci-fi film.  The “surprise” release of the movie indicates not that the creators continue to want to surprise and experiment with how the series has been released, but a lack of a faith in the product.  Yes, Netflix does get good quality first run films like Mudbound, but they also get movies like Sandy Wexler.  It is unclear what the future holds for The Cloverfield Paradox after this entry…but I’m fine if it dies at this point.

Related Links:

Cloverfield (2008)

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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