Here comes ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’

Super Bowl watchers (or even just Super Bowl commercial watchers) may remember a promo for a film called “The Cloverfield Paradox,” which was advertised to be released on Netflix as soon as the game was over. No one even knew an additional “Cloverfield” film was being released. Not only that, but there were not even any promotional images or interviews released prior to the game to let people know it was coming out.

While this was a unique marketing tactic, I honestly do not feel that this movie was worthy of the airtime. “The Cloverfield Paradox” is the third film in the “Cloverfield” franchise, even though the connections are practically nonexistent unless you do your homework. This is irritating, as I should not have to do prior research to understand the narrative of a movie.

The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Brühl, David Oyelowo and Chris O‘Dowd among others. It tells the story of a group of scientists in space trying to save the world, but something goes wrong. If it feels like you have heard this story before, it is because you have. Like “10 Cloverfield Lane,” this film felt like one singular film until the creators decided after the fact to throw in the “Cloverfield” title just to get people to watch, while adding in slim connections to justify the title. The cast does a fair job in their roles, but at most times it feels as if they are simply honing it in, so they can just get to the end. This is shown in their reactions to events that are meant to invoke emotion, but it just comes across hollow. I never truly felt connected to these rather weak characters.

Throughout most of the film, those moments that are meant to be suspenseful never feel like they actually mattered as the characters simply move on. It feels like the scenes do not flow together properly. It comes across as this: scene happens and ends, then another scene happens and ends, while the previous scene is never again mentioned. It is almost as if the scenes were simply there to kill characters and move on. Another complaint I have was that the film— because it takes place in the future and is a sci-fi story— needs to provide information to the audience for them to learn more about the world. This is fine in itself, but in “The Cloverfield Paradox,” there are many scenes where characters are talking, and instead of developing characters, the dialogue is wasted delivering forced, unnatural exposition. It comes across as the writers explaining things rather than a character telling something to the audience.

Some positives I found are that while it may initially appear that there is not a lot of depth to most of the characters, the characterization is very subtle. I will give the film this; the design of the ship is nice and unique with an intriguing interior that is actually bright enough for the audience to see, which is something you do not see much of in these movies.

Overall, if you are a fan of this franchise, give it a watch because of the Easter Eggs for fans to enjoy that add to the universe. But other than that, there are honestly better things to do with your time (like study probably). Yeah, just study instead.

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