Cloverfield Paradox Review

This is... not a good film

Yikes. I wanted to like this. I really, truly did. 10 Cloverfield Lane was one of my favorite movies of the year, and while Cloverfield isn't my idea of cutting edge Sci-Fi, I thought it was great, especially for the time period and budget. I even thought that the idea for Paradox was pretty smart. We saw city-wide destruction in the original film, we got an intimate look at a different kind of destruction in the closed confines of Lane, and it just made sense (to me) to take things interstellar, and find out why all of a sudden, monsters were running around. Unfortunately, even though it was the story I wanted, it wasn't really the story I got.

Allow me to explain.

The movie starts off well; there's a stellar cast, good production values (mostly) and a solid setup. The movie is set right before the monster attack in the original film, and the beginning focuses on one of the crew-members who is heading to space with a team of badass scientists to shoot off an energy beam that is supposed to somehow provide the Earth with clean energy. You find out through some background chatter that the world is not doing well, there are "oil-wars" and basically, we have screwed the Earth even worse than we have in real life, right now. Now that's relatable.

The opening scenes tug on the heartstrings a little, showing how much one of the crew-members loves her family. Then, we get another scene. And another. Then, some space stuff. Then more scenes of her watching videos of her family. Then her stroking the TV screen, because she loves her family, ok? She. LOVES. Them. It's boring, it's shallow, and I didn't care. In fact, I feel like if you cut all the scenes of this lady watching videos of her family, all you'd be left with is the official trailer. Which still makes me want to watch the movie. Damn you, trailers!

Then, after setting the stakes in a transparent, human-emotion kind of way, we get an even more ham-fisted attempt, with a TV commentator saying that the ship and its mission very well might "tear the membrane of reality", releasing all kinds of monsters and demons and slamming dimensions together all willy-nilly. Cool right? Wrong. Those monsters and demons never come. Instead, we finally get the antagonist; portals.

Yeah... portals.

But wait! Portals are scarrrrrrrry! Portals move objects that should be outside of your body, inside your body. They move people into things, fusing humans inside walls and tubes. Portals eat people's arms and then whisk them away to another dimension, while your dimensional doppelganger's arm... gets a life of its own in your world? And it can think now? It also knows things no one in any dimension should know? None of it makes very much sense, and after a while, you realize that, yeah, portals are the "bad guys". Which is very, very disappointing, because this is a Cloverfield film, so you know there are demons and aliens to spare. Where are they? No one is sure, but it looks like they were sacrificed to another monster, one called, "budget restrictions". 

The movie just never really finds its flow, and spends too much time doing things poorly; trying to make me care about this guy and his relationship with a fellow crew-member. Trying to make me care about how much this lady misses her family. I'm supposed to care about the Earth, because one of the crew-member's boyfriend keeps rescuing kids and looking alarmed. But the movie never gels, and after a series of stupid decisions and alternate world shenanigans, we end up with a lot less crew-members in a damaged ship, trying to replicate the original plan, so they can undo a bunch of horribleness that the original plan did. I know it's a Sci-Fi movie, but how the hell are two or three people, riding in like 15% of the original ship going to do what a healthy ship and a full crew couldn't do? Especially when each one of these crew-members are specialized like the damned A-Team? Yeah... they wouldn't.

By the time the cliche "surprise-ending" hits, I had long-since yawned a dozen times (including a few times during the "climax") and was looking forward to heading off to bed.



In the end, The Cloverfield Paradox is a huge wasted opportunity to expand on the Cloverfield world/brand. I see that they were trying to go minimalist, much like the previous films, and that would be fine, if the scenes they did show were scary or interesting. They have already made a 100 other disaster in space movies, and they are all better than this one.

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2018-03-01 14:25:52... -


2018-02-08 21:01:11... -

I love this universe :)