Non-Spoiler Review: Netflix's 'The Cloverfield Paradox' is an absolute mess
Ugh… So disappointing.
I’m a huge fan of the Cloverfield series. The first installment revolutionized the ‘found footage’ genre, putting you right in the middle of New York City during a massive monster attack. It felt real, especially in theaters, as if you were actually experiencing a Godzilla-like event. The choice to keep the monster vague and largely unseen made for a truly thrilling viewing experience.
Ten Cloverfield Lane improved upon the series, featuring a more intimate pace with as much underlying suspense as the original, only subtler. Tremendous acting performances from John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr carried the film, while the loose connection to Cloverfield gave us welcomed-familiarity with plenty of creative freedom. It was less a pure sequel and more a second film inside a shared universe. Think Rouge One rather than The Force Awakens.
Known for their adventurous approach to marketing – Ten Cloverfield Lane was developed under the name The Cellar to hide its connection to the Cloverfield series – last night may have marked their most creative effort yet. Right in the middle of the Super Bowl, with millions of eyes on every commercial aired, the Bad Robot crew decided to drop the debut trailer for The Cloverfield Paradox along with the kicker that it was a Netflix Original and would be available right after the game.
Remember how Beyoncé dropped her album overnight without any prior promo back in 2013? This was the movie version of that. Needless to say, I was excited.
So imagine my disappointment when it turned out to be terrible. I mean really, really bad. Simply not good, I don’t know how else to say it.
For starters, it was very cliché, a word not normally associated with the Cloverfield series. It was basically every sci-fi space movie you’ve ever seen rolled into one lazy effort. Exploding stomachs, people trapped behind air locks, mechanical malfunctions at every turn. “The flibber flap is overheating on deck 9!! Quick, we need to manually override the gravity systems before the meter hits 210 kilowatts!”
The constant jargon about barely-explained technologies was more frustrating than it was ‘smart’. The concept of a multiverse was intriguing but poorly executed. Add in an endless run of terrible puns from the comic relief because… why not?
Someone should’ve examined this product and changed the title just to remove it from an otherwise fantastic series. I mean they did it with the second film, why couldn’t they do it in reverse?
If you want to zone out and watch some cheap gore and predictable drama, feel free to give this one a shot. But with so many better options out there – I really enjoyed Alien: Covenant, for example – you really shouldn’t waste your time on The Cloverfield Paradox. It may be free for Netflix subscribers, but think of all the better things you could be doing with two hours of your day.
I watched this movie so that you don’t have to. You’re welcome.