The Cloverfield Paradox Review (2018)

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Cloverfield Paradox Review (2018)

Horrorific content by adrian on November 04th, 2018 | Movie Review | Alien, Survival, Sci-Fi, Confined, Space

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Orbiting above a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.

The Cloverfield Paradox was directed by Julius Onah  and stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Brühl (from Intruders) and Chris O'dowd.

The future unleashed every thing

The Cloverfield Paradox Review

The Cloverfield franchise isn’t just any film series. Both Cloverfield and its indirectly linked sequel, 10 Cloverfield Lane weren’t just fantastic films that very much deserved the praise they earned. Clever writing and creative storytelling that juxtaposed the unbelievable with the familiar made them hits that spanned multiple genres. That said, it makes sense that fans were excited to see a 2018 Super Bowl ad from Netflix promising a third installment in the Cloverfield franchise to be made available immediately after the game.

However, many fans also didn’t quite know what to make of the actual film when they eventually did get a chance to tune in. At first, it was assumed that a huge franchise production of this caliber was being released via Netflix because it might be too complicated or cerebral to appeal to a box office audience. In actuality, The Cloverfield Paradox turned out to be a bit of a mess that left many diehard fans feeling disappointed at best.

The plotline of The Cloverfield Paradox unfolds on a space station and follows a group of international astronauts as they work to solve an energy crisis back on Earth with the help of a particle accelerator. However, things quickly take a turn for the unexpected, as might be expected in any Cloverfield movie. They find themselves accidentally trapped in another dimension as a result and now must find their way home before it’s too late.

Both 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox were originally completely unrelated stories that were later adapted to fit into the popular franchise. However, while that formula clearly worked for 10 Cloverfield, Paradox doesn’t make the transition anywhere near as smoothly. This is a film with a lot of different elements going on. However, Onah does a better job making sure some of them actually fit together than others.

There are also very obvious issues with character development, as well as plot elements that are introduced without ever being properly fleshed out or explained. The overall effect on the viewer is one of confusion and disjointedness. More than a few viewers were left wondering if they actually missed something unintentionally when really, some key element was sloppily left unexplained (if not edited out altogether). Collectively, these are mistakes that make Paradox hard to watch and even harder to really like, even for diehard Cloverfield fans.

However, the film also manages to do a few things really well. For instance, the production design is impressive and well-done for the most part. The acting is top notch as well. Some of the more shocking moments and plot twists that pop up along the way – such as the total disappearance of a planet – also hit the mark well enough to intrigue the viewer and hold their interest. Unfortunately, these moments get lost in the shuffle thanks to the lack of any satisfactory explanation at any point along the way. The script and general themes of the film attempt to use the concepts of chaos and paradox to excuse this, but it winds up feeling like exactly that – a messy excuse for loose writing and disjointed editing.

Worth Watching?

At the end of the day, The Cloverfield Paradox is probably worth seeing if you’re a diehard fan of the franchise. However, like most fans, you’ll likely leave the experience unsatisfied and hoping desperately that any future additions to the franchise are better.

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