“The only paradox is the fact that they keep calling these movies “Cloverfield” when they have nothing to do with the original.”
The Cloverfield Paradox made cinematic history by being the first sizeable movie to have a trailer drop during a major event (The Superbowl) announcing that the film is available essentially right then. This is a power move the likes I have never seen, but it also kind of throws a wrench in the thing that makes Cloverfield great: The ARG. Every Cloverfield film has had an ARG (and Augmented-Reality Game) attached to it before its release, usually to get people invested in the world and in the right mindset for some weird mystery shit to go down; The Cloverfield Paradox was no different. The only thing is due to The Cloverfield Paradox’s monumental release, the ARG barely had a chance to get going before the film was available for everyone. This to me seemed like it kind of burned the fans, but when I get to the rest of my review you’ll understand why that was par for the course with the rest of The Cloverfield Paradox. But this is kind of a bitter-sweet moment for me because the lack of ARG for The Cloverfield Paradox prevented me from building hype. When I followed the ARG for 10 Cloverfield Lane I got so excited for the movie, and then when I finally saw it I was immensely disappointed. The Cloverfield Paradox didn’t allow for that which was a blessing, becasue I was already disappointed with my viewing so if I had been invested I might have been suicidal.
So The Cloverfield Paradox is a movie that claims it is going to bridge the gap between the movies in the Cloverfield “universe”, and it does exactly that. No wait, it doesn’t do that at all. The film follows a group of astronauts in space that are testing a particle collider in an attempt to create more energy for the earth. This test goes wrong and they kind of sort of fuck with time and shit. I’m not really clear on what happened, but I don’t think the writers were either. So my biggest issue with The Cloverfield Paradox was that it completely lies in its marketing when it says that we’ll “find out why” New York was attacked in 2008, but the hate doesn’t stop there; it’s just the first thing I’ll focus on. So first of all, The Cloverfield Paradox does not take place in 2008. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, the first movie took place in 2008 and there is no changing that. It was ‘filmed’ on a MiniDV camera for fuck’s sake, nobody had smartphones. So that means that nothing we see in The Cloverfield Paradox (which takes place in the future, if I’m not mistaken) has anything to do with the original Cloverfield. And with that in mind it has even less to do with 10 Cloverfield Lane which is seemingly just its own thing entirely.
And it’s not even the fact that the movie didn’t explain anything relating to the first Cloverfield, it’s the fact that even as a movie it was weak. Becasue The Cloverfield Paradox was messing with space-time they assumed that they could make absolutely anything happen, with no explanation needed. This leads to a very messy movie where you don’t give a shit about anything becasue you know that literally anything can happen. Why should I be worried for any of the characters in any situation when the writers can literally say “And now the floor swallows you whole”. It’s like an asshole kid playing pretend with his friends; he’s in charge so what he says goes. So that takes out the Cloverfield connection as wells the thriller aspect, so what’s left? Well the CGI in the film was terrible, so let’s take that out as well. Really all we have left now is the comedy in the movie which was bizarre. Chris O’Dowd is in the movie as the comic relief, and honestly he is the only thing to make the movie palatable. His quips are hilarious, his timing is impeccable, and his style humour really accentuates whats going on on-screen. The problem is that these moments of levity don’t exactly fit in the movie, and they make it feel tonally confused. So not only does it feel like The Cloverfield Paradox is scrambling for the love of Cloverfield fans, but also the love of the general public with these watered-down moments of intensity.
The only paradox is the fact that they keep calling these movies “Cloverfield” when they have nothing to do with the original. The Cloverfield Paradox is a surface-level, poorly written, confused movie that really only has a cool release going for it. I would struggle to give praise to any one part of this movie, and honestly I hope this kills any semblance of a ‘Cloverfield universe’ with movies that are tangentially (and that’s being generous) related to the first.
I give The Cloverfield Paradox an F