Just a year after its surprise debut at the Super Bowl, The Cloverfield Paradox arrives on blu-ray this week, bringing with it some bonus features that (obviously) couldn’t be included on the Netflix release. Come check out our review to see if it’s worth picking up!
My love for the Cloverfield universe is well documented here on the site, and even now I’m eagerly awaiting word on whatever is coming next. The series started off strong with Cloverfield, and it’s surprise sequel, 10 Cloverfield Lane, remains one of my favorite films. So it was kind of shocking for many fans when the third film was dropped on Netflix during last year’s Super Bowl (when we also got our first trailer for it).
It wasn’t exactly encouraging, but considering my love for the franchise and eagerness to get SOME sort of answers to the ever-present mysteries I jumped into it. I didn’t get a chance to share my thoughts on the film when it first dropped, but with the blu-ray release, I’ve had the chance to watch it again and mull things over.
The reality is...it’s not great, especially in comparison to the previous Cloverfield films. This one turns entirely the Sci-Fi route, taking us a bit into the future where the world’s energy crisis is more critical than ever. In an effort to solve the problem a team of scientists embark on a dangerous experiment in space (firing up a particle accelerator).
As you would imagine, things don’t go as planned and their activation of the device tears the fabric of reality, allowing for an alternate dimension to bleed over. It’s...strange and as the crew tries to figure out exactly what happened and how to possibly fix it, they have to figure out who among them may be out to sabotage them.
It sounds like a lot going on, but it’s actually a fairly straightforward Sci-Fi/horror flick. Frankly speaking, I think I enjoyed the film much more because it was on Netflix. The straight to video release actually makes sense because I can tell you now, if I’d paid money to see it in theaters (finding a babysitter, etc.) I would have been super disappointed.
It’s not a terrible film, by any stretch, but it comes off as more schlocky B-science fiction than anything else. There are flashes of greatness, but it can’t quite pull everything together in a satisfying way. While it does offer up some answers (maybe?) about the overall reasoning behind the Cloverfield events, I wish the presentation had been a little more...effective.
That said, there are still fun elements, and solid character work. Thus, it works much better in this VOD/blu-ray format than it would have in theaters. In this form, it’s some of the elements aren’t nearly as frustrating and it’s easier to forgive some of its problems.
Obviously, you can still find the film itself on Netflix, but the blu-ray is where you’ll find the bonus features:
Things Are Not As They Appear: The Making of The Cloverfield Paradox
Shepard Team: The Cast
Both of these are fairly sizeable featurettes that go behind the scenes of the story and the characters/cast, but they aren’t particularly riveting/groundbreaking. Couple this with a lack of DVD or digital copy of the film, and this release feels about as barebones as it gets.