The Paradox of The Cloverfield paradox


Courtesy of Netflix

Ashton T. Livingston, Entertainment Editor

Ten years ago we got the first Cloverfield movie. The first movie was kind of a sleeper hit amongst film lovers and in 2016 we got 10 Cloverfield Lane. In 2018 we have The Cloverfield Paradox, one of the worst films I’ve seen in a while. The Cloverfield Paradox spends its hour and forty-five-minute runtime poking interesting ideas but strangling itself over the other two films. While the cinematography and visual effects are certainly excellent, the story collapses like a building under the foot of Godzilla. The other Cloverfield films feel like anthology films, not related to each other directly but have similarities, while this one spends a lot of its time trying to link the other two.

Before I start getting into things about this film I’m going to spoil the plot, not like you’re going to watch this horrendous film anyways. The film opens strong with the idea of a world wide energy crisis and blackouts cover the earth. Hamilton (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a female astronaut, volunteers to go into space and boards the Cloverfield Station and tests a particle accelerator. This first portion of the film has a great build up to an interesting plot and has some spectacular opening credits, bringing in the idea of how badly people need this. Once that’s over though the film begins to slowly fall apart. After they test out the accelerator weird things begin to happen aboard the Cloverfield Station. The Earth goes missing and people begin to act strange. Meanwhile on Earth Hamilton’s husband lives through the events of the first Cloverfield, WHICH IS SO WRONG! The film seems to take place in modern day with new technology while the original Cloverfield took place in 2008. The events in this film also don’t even exist in the original. The film goes back in forth between the two stories and falls apart. The writing gets bad, real bad. The events become predictable and have no explanation aside from the fact that, “we’re in another dimension!”. That does not work for this film. The weird stuff pushes the plot forward and never explains the stuff that happens. This is lazy and bad writing. The whole movie feels like build up to this groundbreaking discovery but nope, just weird dumb stuff happening in space. They could’ve made this movie interesting if the characters were interesting and weren’t born of cookie cutter writing. The only real character development is with Hamilton and choosing not to go down to the other Earth. If you have a 105-minute movie and that’s the only character development you’re doing something wrong.

On top of all these random weird events start to come into play, such as Mundy’s (Chris O’Dowd) arm being separated from him and then his arm having a mind of its own. comes an unnecessary villain, Jensen (Elizabeth Debicki), she has a predictable and cookie cutter motivation. Oh and amongst all that garbage comes the kerosene and match! All of the events are trying to explain how the other two films are connected. Now for some, this is interesting but for me, it flops and fails this cinematic universe. The first film is all this build up and you get this awesome monster! The second film is all this build up and you get weird aliens! It was fun to try and figure out what’s going on but with this, it takes it away and makes it seem kinda dumb. So yeah, it’s not all that great.

A lot of the actors I haven’t mentioned due to them not being important to the plot. Most of them there for exposition. It’s bad when you have all these characters who have potential to be something unique and special, yet, you just have them there to spout information and try to explain this movies idiocracy.

Cloverfield is a series of films that tell their own stories and the events of their world are loosely connected. This idea was amazing! An anthology series of movies! A Twilight Zone of movies if you will. I think this film fell apart once it tried to bridge the other two; if it just was its own thing it could’ve been pretty decent. WIth better writers and a more focused plot that didn’t relate to the others directly. The Cloverfield Paradox is a lackluster film and I’m glad people have noticed this. I now know why the only trailers for it were the day it came out during the Superbowl. The Cloverfield Paradox sits at an 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. Watch this movie if  you want to be disappointed. I love the first two films and I want to see more but, this was obviously a step in the wrong direction.