The Cloverfield Paradox

Nicholas Johnson

Oh, boy. I’ll bet Netflix has been planning something like this for years. Secret project, dropping in a big way. It worked for me and my buddies, at least. We popped up Netflix right after the game. The trailer auto played before the app had even fully open to the selection screen, Clearly, they were rearing and ready to go with this puppy. Pretty clever marketing, overall.

I think I kind sort dug the movie while I was watching it. Hard to say. I’m a bit of a sucker for science fiction. So let me lay out all my beef with the flick, but I’ll say preemptively that The Cloverfield Paradox is worth your time.

Oh, and beware– Spoilers ahead.

First, some background. If you haven’t seen the original two films in the series (Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane), I’m not going to ruin anything for you. Do watch them, though, or at least, watch 10 Cloverfield Lane. John Goodman is unreal in that movie. The crux of 10 Cloverfield Lane was originally conceived as a screenplay titled The Cellar. This fact is pretty obvious to the movie viewer, as the film’s relations to its supposed predecessor (the titular Cloverfield) is tangential at best. Nevertheless, go see it. For real. John Goodman goes for it, dawg.

Similarly, The Cloverfield Paradox was also originally designed as a standalone story. Its plot is derived from a screenplay title The God Particle. Though it’s nice that these original stories can be told is some form (the alternative, I suppose, would be the 85th installment of the Avenger’s franchise [which, though I’m trying to seem all cool and artsy by talking smack about the Avenger, are really pretty good, if a bit tired {and, I mean, did you see the Justice League? Whew. Really puts things into context}]) I would almost certainly rather see the unaltered work. The links between the anthology seem at best superfluous, and at worst rather forced. 

As for the film itself– The characters didn’t do a whole lot for me, and some of the details of their personal lives seem a bit shoehorned in. There’s presumably some commentary about nationalism going on in the background. Give the fictional near future Earth’s geopolitical struggles and the varied nationalities of the crew members, but that well of tension is hardly explored. 

Some weird stuff happens in the film which is sort of explained by (spoiler alert!) the fact that two dimensions are colliding. But not really. Inter-dimensional stuff seems to be used in The Cloverfield Paradox like magic is used in myriad crappy fantasy movies. It’s sort of a universal explainer- Weird thing happens? Two dimensions! There are no rules!

Except I want rules, because otherwise the movie doesn’t make sense. Why is that one Irish guy, who always plays the dorky Irish guy in every movie he’s in, just fine after (SPOILERS!!!) losing his arm, and why does said arm then command the crew to cut open the Ruskie traitor and find that stabilizer ball thing after the Ruskie dies from vomiting up all the wrid worms that somehow showed up in his stomach in the first place? If you haven’t seen the movie, that makes no sense, but if you have, I imagine that you were also confused by these things.

But whatever. These are afterthoughts. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I enjoyed The Cloverfield Paradox.  6/10 stars, though I’m really bad at scoring things. Definitely the worst of the three Cloverfield movies, but still alright.