Any Given Sunday - The Cloverfield Paradox (REVIEW)
written by Jacob Chimilar
There was a shocking twist during the Super Bowl and it had nothing to do with the game. The long pushed back and no firm dated third Cloverfield film God Particle, now called The Cloverfield Paradox, arrived on the same day it was announced in a commercial during the game. I was very excited when I saw the commercial and the once again very clever strategy of it's release. The movie is a bit of a different story. I think I'm just going to go full spoilers on this one so early warning.
What I liked about this film was that it clearly had a big budget and they used it well, i don't think there was any point where the effects looked cheap. I also enjoyed the cast, made up of well known character actors mostly, not so much typical leading actors but certainly established. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is the main star as Hamilton, the one we get the only real backstory on and is clearly the character to root for. She along with a multi-national crew aboard the The Cloverfield attempt to create a new unlimited source of energy to save the planet. But when they turns it on things don't go according to plan. When things settle back down they realize that the earth is gone, and this is when the film gets interesting and I assumed at least mostly correctly (which took away from the mystery) that they had somehow traveled to another universe where there is no Earth. This break in space time made for some pretty crazy and fun problems for the crew to solve and made the possibilities for things to go wrong in space get way more creative than a run-of-the-mill movie might be able to with just aliens to contend with. That however becomes a bit of a problem when “scary bad” problems and “silly bad” problems collide. You get a bit of a kitchen sink effect and a bunch of the tropes that come along with the genre. There were a few genuine surprises along the way and the pace was quick without feeling rushed.
However with the tie in to Cloverfield being a much stronger pull than 10 Cloverfield Lane, it does get a bit bogged down as we see the husband of Hamilton dealing at least a little with the chaos that is the Clover monster that has now been unleashed, seemingly from the test the Cloverfield station performed. It really didn't add much tension or surprise to the film and the last shot of the film would have been a fantastic twist if it was just that, instead we see Clover already there, a lot larger than last time, which makes me think it too is an alternate universe to the original film. That aside though it really is just another, "things go wrong in space" movie and does it in it's own way. The characters are not their calm selves as evidenced by an almost 2 year mission, that should have taken 6 months tops supposedly. This leads them to make some pretty rash decisions, something that is at least in this film explained by the prolonged space flight and ratcheting tension as they test and continuously fail again and again to get them to where they are in the film. It has some fun deaths, a frantic but enjoyable pace, an interesting premise and a clunky tie in to the “Cloververse” that didn't really help it, and should have been more a cherry on top instead of an integral part of the dessert.
It's a gorgeous movie with a solid cast, great score from returning composter Bear McCeary and a solid if flawed chapter in the Cloverfield franchise, closer to the original in both quality and genre. A fun jaunt with a lot of working pieces it tries and sorta fails to juggle with not a whole lot else going for it in terms of character or story. Give it a try, it was a nice Sunday evening crazy space movie.
a nice Sunday evening crazy space movie