The Cloverfield Paradox is a mystery of its own. Delayed a year with no director, cast, plot synopsis and not even a title attached to the project - the working title 'Cloverfield 3' was rumoured to bridge the gap between the previous two seemingly unattached outings. Announced for release in April this year, Cloverfield 3 was finally given an official release date - and nothing else.
This time last weekend however Netflix released a thirty second clip titled The Cloverfield Paradox, announcing the film would be available on Netflix after the super bowl that very night - and the rest is history. Paramount's estranged, reality bending Cloverfield spin off is a flawed, somewhat silly space thrill that is undeniably, possibly unintentionally, fun. Many things don't work about this spin-off, but most painfully of all its a film that thinks its a Cloverfield film when really it isn't, therefore tries harder to be so.
The beauty of both Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane is the gripping aspect of the unknown - wrapping you tighter and tighter - with absolutely no breathing space in between. Whereas here Paradox fails to capture the same impending, almost suffocating doom the predecessors are most notable for. Here we simply have an okay episode of Black Mirror with a touch of Geostorm, if you get what I mean
As a stand alone flick its fine and fun but is entirely unworthy of its Cloverfield title. There a few things that tie this ambiguous sequel to its cousins, but it would most certainly have succeeded far better if it kept a distance from any universe type tie in, unless done outstandingly well. That said, 10 Cloverfield Lane is only loosely based upon the original Cloverfield plotline (originally titled The Bunker before give the glossy JJ. Abrahams makeover). Luckily enough Lane was good if not better than the 2008 monster movie original, and a worthy addition to the so called Cloverfield universe.
Paradox works best when its exploring the dark, nitty gritty of particle altering dimensional physics type stuff, and when it is weird it is very weird indeed. Sadly there is far too little of this, and those rare moments usually interrupted by a corny Chris O'dowd da ba dum tiss moment. Where Cloverfield films have previously been known for abrupt and unexpected endings, Paradox runs a course of otherworldly events which we never really come to understand. Cloverfield is a wonderful head scratcher itself although if you search hard enough you can find many intricate hidden clues explaining the mystery of its premise. In this case Paradox isn't too confusing to understand, it simply doesn't make sense.
A wonderfully assembled cast and a generally well shot movie, Paradox isn't that bad, but it certainly isn't great. The one dimensional script is the primary hurdle Paradox had to overcome, ironic in a film about transcending time and space. I'm certain that with a few nips and tucks the dialogue would have been far less cringeworthy and silly than it ultimately turned out. Forget for a moment that it's supposed to be a Cloverfield movie you'll enjoy this weird, dark space thriller even if it isn't all that thrilling.
The Cloverfield Paradox:
Pinch of info
Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.