The Cloverfield Paradox is the third installment in the Cloverfield franchise directed by Julius Onah which premiered on Netflix last night about a group of scientists sent to space to find a renewable source of energy. When an experiment is attempted to do so they find themselves stuck in an alternate reality. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, and Chris O’Dowd.
I could have had this review up last night immediately after watching it but I wanted some time to really process this movie. Not to question if I liked it or not but to question if I liked it as a Cloverfield movie. As a long time Cloverfield fan I was pretty excited for this movie immediately upon seeing the spot during the big game. I waited for hours just to watch it and I was not disappointed, but I also was not pleased. This movie felt like what Life should’ve been, a movie that was released about an alien life form attacking the ship, only this movie did not have any alien life form (in space anyway).It does carry the sort of intensity that is needed for this kind of film but in a more abstract manner that involves dimensions. I personally loved it but was quite disappointing to not see any monsters.
One thing I do love about this film is that it does give us yet another perspective into this world from a different setting. With the first one we saw the city from a found footage stand point, and the second one played out like a drama on earth. We now have a perspective from space and it does add quite a bit to the story in my opinion.
My favorite aspect of this entire film is the characters. Every character in this movie does offer some reason (some more than others) to really care. Some have family waiting for them back on earth and some really are just likable characters with a lot of charisma. The performances from everyone really are great. If there’s anyone that stood out the most to me it would be Gugu Mbatha-Raw. As I mentioned before in this film they visit an alternate dimension that still has Earth, in the original dimension that this film begins in we see that she has a tragic past that haunts her for reasons that will not be disclosed, but in this dimension she has what is missing from her other. In this new dimension her tragic past is nonexistent, so seeing her struggle and sort of face the inner conflict within was one of my favorite parts of this film.
The issues I have with this film are major for a Cloverfield fan, as an average sci-fi film it’s really not much. THIS HAS BECOME A GIANT MESS. This film was supposed to tie all the three movies together, it was mentioned in the ads everywhere even. All this film accomplishes when it attempts to tie everything together is it doesn’t. There’s a lot of stuff in this film that does not add up to it’s predecessors. Now, I watched it last night, so it may or may not tie everything together but at this point it is not clear. I’m all for ambiguity in film, I don’t always want concrete answers but I also don’t want answers that don’t make sense.
As an average sci-fi film I’d say the film is alright, there’s some great sequences and there’s also some very silly scenes that did not need to be in it. Overall it’s an alright film, it’s not bad, it’s not great. The story is fun and has a great concept if you pay close attention and really understand it. I give The Cloverfield Paradox a 7/10
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