Going into ‘The Cloverfield Paradox‘, which should be renamed to ‘The Cloverfield Potato‘, I was a huge fan of this movie universe and its mythology. With 2008’s ‘Cloverfield‘, I loved the use of handheld cameras and the found footage aspect to tell this crazy story of a giant creature wreaking havoc on everyone and everything in New York, despite the annoying characters. Some years later, we got a film set in the same universe with ‘10 Cloverfield Lane‘, which had us holed up with John Goodman and couple other great characters where something terrible was happening outside their underground bunker, just as something equally awful was happening underground. JJ Abrams had announced a third film some years ago that would take place in this ‘Cloverfield‘ universe, but went thru many delays and a ton of titles, including ‘The God Particle‘.
In a genius move though, the first trailer for the film played during the Superbowl, which said it would debut right after the game on Netflix. A surprise indeed it was, but after viewing the film, disappointment set in with just how lazy and horrible everything was in a film franchise that had everything going for it. With an amazing cast from all over the world, including Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, Zhang Ziyi, Roger Davies, Aksel Hennie, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki,and John Ortiz, and a great movie universe to draw inspiration from – filmmaker Julius Onah and his writers failed miserably.
What ‘The Cloverfield Paradox‘ does, is take a ton of other sci-fi films’ plot lines and scenes and mixes them up into its own jumbled mess of mediocrity. If you were to name a few films ‘The Cloverfield Paradox‘ takes its cues from, ‘Event Horizon‘, ‘Alien‘, and ‘Interstellar‘ would come to mind, but there are countless others that come into play here, but the best parts of those films don’t translate well here. Maybe, because it feels rushed, lazy, and unoriginal, not to mention that all of the characters have zero backstory, with the exception of one character, while everyone else is the one-note stereotypical space crew environment, including the comic relief, the doctor, the short temper, the boss, and the weirdo. Set on a space station above Earth, this space crew is trying to harness and energy to help Earth out with the low energy levels in order to survive.
When the space crew succeeds, it happens to transport them to another dimension with no Earth in sight. Strange noises, random people start yelling from within the walls, chests burst open, worms fly out, and more start to happen aboard the space station. Meanwhile, on Earth, well see the first ‘Cloverfield‘ movie, as two dimensions collide. The cast is perfectly capable of being the best they’ve ever been, but due to this script, nobody is given any one moment to shine other than one-liners. There are moments where the film seems to be going into dark and balls-to-the-wall territory, but it always stops short.
In fact, if the film were togo all the way so to speak, it would have been a much better movie. There is no relation to the other ‘Cloverfield‘ films other than some half-assed sub plot and the final moment of the movie. None of it makes sense and feels like a marketing push over the biggest televised event of the year to surprise us with something we didn’t really want. What comes across is something cheap and laughable.