The Cloverfield Paradox is the latest film in the sci-fi Cloverfield series, this outing is set in space, following a crew aboard a space ship aiming to get a source of energy that may just save humanity from itself, the film stars David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha raw, Chris O’Dowd, Daniel Bruhl, John Ortiz and Ziyi Zhang.
Ah where to start with Cloverfield Paradox, it’s sort of in the name actually… because the film sort of makes no sense and trying to tie it into Cloverfield or 10 Cloverfield Lane I guess does make a paradox. Time travel, inter-dimensional travel, god particles, the concepts are pretty high level but the basics are that we follow a crew in space trying to get endless renewable energy for the Earth, simple enough…. but this is apparently a prequel to Cloverfield, so the world we see is exactly the same as the 2008 film but they seemingly have nothing in common, with no mention of the Shepherd (the space ship in this film) or the energy crisis.
But non-sensical continuity aside, more than anything, its disappointing that the film missed a great chance to expand on previous films and give out some real answers, the story goes full JJ Abrams, raising about 10 questions for everyone one answered, with events happening seemingly at random as things go on. Almost as if to shout to the audience “Hey this is weird, betcha didnt see that coming!”, at best it’s intriguing writing and at worst it’s pandering to an direction-less engima machine with no real end goal in sight, effectively JJ Abrams ‘mystery box’ at work.
Which is further disappointing because the film actually has some good production value, it looks great and has a pretty good cast to boot, the likes of Daniel Brul, David Oyelowo to name a few and some great dramatic moments and nice sprinkling of levity in between. That being said, the film isn’t a completely LOST cause (pun intended, this is totally like LOST) and it is an engaging watch, the plot moving pretty much without taking a break but unfortunately the quick pacing and writing makes each new event feel a bit cheap and forced for the sake of a new random crisis as engaging as this also makes the plot.
I just don’t quite get the point of Cloverfield Paradox, a film that barely ties into the previous two in the series, a film that apparently wasn’t even a Cloverfield film at all but got adapted into one for some reason. Answering almost nothing but raising a number of new possibilities and despite a good cast and good production overall, the final product is something that adds nothing substantial to the overall series aside some incoherent new mythology and a bunch of new mysteries. Marketing itself on the back of the Cloverfield name to cynically get more eyes on the films in my view.
. Good cast and performances but mostly wasted on the film
. Seemingly random enigma machine in the vein of LOST, more unanswered questions
. Disappointing for anyone that wanted answers to the previous films