The Cloverfield Paradox

500 Days Of Film Reviews Sci Fi Thriller, The Cloverfield Paradox, Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, John Ortiz And Chris O'Dowd

After a global energy crisis has left the Earth on the brink of war, a group of scientists launch into orbit to test a device that just might save the planet. However, none of the crew are prepared for the consequences of their actions.

Is It Any Good?

Until its release, not much was known about director Julius Onah’s film. All we knew was that a movie called The God Particle was due to be released in February 2018 and that this film featured a stellar cast including Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo and Daniel Brühl.

 

At the beginning of the year, it emerged that The God Particle was not going to get a theatrical release. Instead, the film was going straight to Netflix. In addition, it was no longer called The God Particle but something related to the Cloverfield franchise.

 

That was all we knew until an advert during the Super Bowl informed audiences that the film - now called The Cloverfield Paradox - would be available on Netflix after the game. 

Intriguing. 

 

Seriously, you have to hand it to the Cloverfield marketing team. They certainly know how to surprise. In a world where movie marketing leaves us precious few mysteries, this feels refreshing.

 

It is just a shame that The Cloverfield Paradox does not live up to this promise. I appreciate the effort that goes into making a film and I am a fan of this franchise (I loved 10 Cloverfield Lane). However, sadly, The Cloverfield Paradox is a mess. 

 

 

Onah’s movie wears its influences on its sleeve. Watching, I was reminded of Alien, Event Horizon, Solaris and Life. I couldn’t help but wish I was watching any of these far superior films instead.

 

The trouble is not one of imagination. There are many fascinating ideas here. In addition, the fault does not lie with the cast - they all do their best and are, of course, extremely capable. In addition, The Cloverfield Paradox boats some impressive visual effects (I particularly enjoyed the scene involving an eye).

 

No, the problem lies with this movie’s painfully laboured script, its nonsensical editing (which, time and time again, sabotages any tension) and with its bewildering tone. Is this a space horror, a thriller or a comedy? 

 

For example, during one scene involving Chris O’Dowd’s arm I thought... I get it, this is supposed to be a spoof - something like Galaxy Quest. I’m supposed to laugh. However, the very next moment was no laughing matter - and I was left with tonal whiplash.

 

Sadly, The Cloverfield Paradox feels like a flatlining film brought back from the dead via an injection of some random Cloverfield lore. This is a forgettable movie that feels (and often looks) like it needed much more time to iron out its rough edges. 

 

Random Observations

Have you watched The Cloverfield Paradox?

 

If you have, what did you think of this Netflix movie? Let me know in the comments section below or via Facebook or Twitter (@500DaysOfFilm).

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