The Cloverfield Paradox

How Does this Connect to the other Cloverfield Movies?

The Film follows 2008’s Cloverfield and 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane and fits perfectly. The biggest difference with this film is that it’s being told on a larger scale of a global view, versus the previous two films which were very isolated stories and groups. This film is able to reflect the world’s political issues through its cast.

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Overall Story

The Cloverfield Paradox explores a world that is running out of energy in the next five years. A space station was created to test an experimental particle accelerator that could solve the energy crisis with a ragtag group of the world’s finest, as Russia, Germany, Ireland, UK, USA, and China have sent their top brass to get the station up and running.  After several failed attempts to get the particle accelerator working, all hope seems lost for the crew that’s spent over 600 days in space.  That is, until they reach success during one of their final attempts.  However, that excitement is fleeting when strange phenomenon begin affecting the crew of the Cloverfield space station.

This concept was very interesting and yields a larger world-building part of the franchise that I think most critics missed out on. Granted, as a standalone movie, outside of the other films, the concept is weak and just a solid B Sci-fi film, but as part of the Cloverfield universe, it’s able to become so much more than it ever could be.

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Most of the Characters are forgettable, with the only defining attributes being the country they were from.  For instance, Monk (John Ortiz) was a shy medic who often looked uncomfortable, Volkov (Aksel Hennie) was just an angry Russian given the task of becoming this movie’s equivalent of John Hurt’s character in Alien, and Chris O’Dowd’s Mundy, while likeable, seemed completely out of place in this film.  On the bright side, the characters that saved this movie the most for me was David Oyelowo’s Kiel, Daniel Bruhl’s Schmidt, Ziyi Zhang’s Tam, but especially Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Hamilton.

These characters are what make it this movie the fun, wild ride that it is. They are able to build an emotional connection through the star Gugu Mbatha-Raw and how she carries the emotional burden and is able to be tempted, challenged and rise above it all to become a developed character that viewers can connect to.

Performances aside, the characters struggle what seems like weak development, due to Cloverfield Paradox’s writing. Now if your fan’s of The Flash TV show on the CW or: Timey Wimey” Physics you will know that there is nothing dangerous about trying to make a functional particle accelerator. No wait, there is everything wrong with this situation! The film’s biggest issue was the shock and confusion on the crews face when weird and spooky stuff starts happening is their reaction of “ Oh my gosh, Why is this happening? Did something happen when we tried to bend space? Nah it’s fine to let’s just get the ship fixed and. Oh, holy crap what’s that? It felt very unreal that they did not understand the risk and possibilities of what may happen. 


Special Effects

The CGI and special effects were sold in my opinion. Netflix had the benefit of receiving a film that Bad Robot had been quietly working on for some time now under the Paramount brand, which means the Special Effects were put to a higher standard that most Netflix Original Films.

Everything from the space station, to Earth, to the Cloverfield parts you knew had to be coming, to even the accurate depiction of space that would have Neil DeGrasse Tyson jumping for joy was perfectly executed in this film.  The story may suffer but the Special Effects are better than most big-budget films, looking at you Justice League. Even the huge surprise last shot of the film was the best look we get of how well the CGI was done on this film.

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Overall Thoughts

The Cloverfield Paradox is not a tentpole blockbuster by any means of this multiverse. However, it is a tantalizing tense sci-fi rollercoaster that will keep you guessing and a must watch, especially if you’re a fan of the series. I felt this scenario very interesting and was able to build on and expand the Cloverfield universe to endless possibilities. The Cloverfield Paradox is a bar-setting standard of filmmaking for Netflix in terms of scope. It grounds and normalizes the past movies while giving it a prequel style origin and making you wonder what else J.J. might else have up his sleeve.

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