The Cloverfield Paradox follows an international team who are sent into space with a powerful particle accelerator with hopes of ending a massive energy crisis on Earth.
Set in the Cloverfield universe, which includes Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane, this film follows similar themes in the sci-fi/horror series. A claustrophobic environment, some decent jump scares, and the talented cast makes this a serviceable edition. The plot is a little complex as parallel dimension films always are with a lot of technical jargon about technology that doesn’t actually exist. Stuck stranded, the crew has to figure out how to get home while the time/space paradox does anything it can to stop them.
The only problem with this one is it loses the surprise factor the 1st two had. Nobody knew 10 Cloverfield Lane was in the same universe as Cloverfield, which also had the surprise of the monster unveiling. This one doesn’t have that. Cloverfield movies have a thematic universe now and even though this one also premiered with zero marketing except a Super Bowl reveal, it’s not enough to make up for that lack. Still it does try to explain the events that allowed Cloverfield to happen… I think.
I read that the film was already shooting before it was even made into a Cloverfield film, and that makes sense. It really isn’t one. The only real Cloverfield aspect comes the last 10 seconds of the film. To be honest this feels a lot more like a very long and expensive episode of Black Mirror, and if it were condensed and simplified a little more it would have been a really great one. The cast is great, the effects are impressive, especially the exterior shots of the station, and the story (stripped of all the Cloverfield business) isn’t terrible. As is, it’s just not much without a signature Cloverfield payoff, which it attempts but I don’t feel succeeds. This movie was demolished critically following its release, and it certainly doesn’t hold up as a Cloverfield film at all. As a stand alone film though, I think it could have been really good. An obvious grab for more cash, placing this film in a universe it doesn’t belong in proved to be a critical mistake. The film is redeemable only because of a fantastic cast. Not a horrible film, just a horrible Cloverfield film.
Amy’s Recommendation: 6/10