The Cloverfield Paradox Review
A Great Platform
The Cloverfield Paradox was announced among the slew of Super Bowl ads was a welcome surprise from Netflix and J.J. Abrams. Another link in the chain that is the Cloverfield series was not only going to be streaming rather than going to theaters. In addition, the movie was already completed and ready to watch on Netflix after the game.
The Cloverfield Paradox is a prequel movie that explains the arrival of the monster we saw in 2008, wreaking havoc on the streets of New York in the POV Kaiju movie Cloverfield. The Cloverfield Paradox opens with the not too distant future of Earth. We are on the brink of war as energy resources are being depleted. Humanity’s hope lies with the crew of a space station orbiting the earth with a particle accelerator. If they are able to bring the accelerator online and generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity we need… Wait sorry, wrong movie. If they bring the accelerator online mankind’s armies will stand down because there will be enough energy for the entire planet. They do not explain why solar, wind and hydroelectric alternatives to fossil fuels have failed us.
Paradox is a very accurate way to describe the movie. As a whole, it feels more like a DVD Extra than a movie standing on its own feet. Mediocre acting combined with a jumpy plot, loose ends and unexplained phenomena left me wondering where the movie was going. Most of which I tend to forgive a movie if it leads me somewhere worthwhile. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The final act was both predictable and unfulfilling. Lack of attachment to the characters made gruesome deaths meaningless, and attempts at drama made it difficult not to pull out my phone due to complete lack of interest. A rare miss for the Cloverfield franchise, of which I have had nothing but good things to say about until now.
The Final Frontier
Despite the flaws, The Cloverfield Paradox deserves an A for effort. My hope is that Netflix and Abrams will do more in this series together, undeterred by the lukewarm reception from critics. I think we need more movies where characters cross dimensions outside of the Comic book movies. Rip holes in space-time. Disrupt the flow of the known universe. Show us massive consequences for meddling in the unknown. Lightspeed and warp drives are old hat. Paradox enters new territory for mainstream movies, and I hope others follow.