The level of anticipation and excitement I had for the third Cloverfield installment was at an unprecedented level. So when the rumors started and the surprise announcement actually came during Super Bowl LII, it was needless to say I was hopping up and down with enthusiasm. Now that I’ve sat down and watched the entire Netflix Original Film, it’s needless to say that my energy for the film has certainly fizzled out.
One of the few strong components of The Cloverfield Paradox is its direction. Occasionally hopping in between the glossy feel of the second film and the Earth view of the original film, the movie had promise in the way it was shot. However, the film contained many moments of nonsensical scenes that feel like they would of been shot poorly no matter who was at the helm. But as the director, Julius Onah’s first ‘bigger’ budget feature, he did an above average job in the directing department.
Here’s where the whole thing comes crashing down. It’s a known fact that the Cloverfield movies are originally completely separated Spec Scripts that get spotted and adjusted slightly to fit into this cinematic universe Abrams’ has created. So the original screenplay, God Particle, I would assume is equally just as poorly written as this atrocious feature, because the few Cloverfield moments don’t feel genuine and instead last minute additions. The film is illogically paced and feels extremely lopsided, especially around the half way mark. The supposedly ‘tense’ kill scenes are hardly that, coming off much more like an off putting comedy containing murders than a sci-fi horror. What makes matters worse is that the twists and turns in the film aren’t only rushed in at the last second but causes eyes to roll at their simplicity.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Daniel Brühl and Chris O’Dowd are the primary waste of talent in this Netflix Original. But it doesn’t stop there as the others in the cast, including the actual main character are dreadfully awkward to watch read their lines. Nothing said throughout he film by any of the characters seems sincere in the slightest. The best example of that is the way that Chris O’ Dowd’s character responds to something happening to his arm. The characters are flat as flat can be and can’t be helped by this particular set of actors. Requires along with more rewrites should of occurred before this movie was filmed and released. Awful characters with no humanity that makes me long to see 2017’s entertaining “Life” again to wash the taste of The Cloverfield Paradox out of my mouth
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
Failing to stick even slightly in my brain, the music/score is generic and there but doesn’t leave an impression. It surprisingly makes some moments more comical with its intense dramatic score when something comical and cheesy looking has just occurred with the use of CGI. It’s not something you’ll hate to listen to but it’ll certainly make you question a few choices along the way. A space station in dismay is a popular sound design in several movies and in that aspect it excelled, however anything beyond the stereotypical intercoms or ventilation systems just blended into the background.
This is where the film excels primarily, creating a space station hovering one of the most glorious images of Earth I have ever seen capture on film. The deaths are heavily influenced by special effects and they come off cheesy but sometimes for a good laugh, obviously not what they were going for but it has that effect. The use of CGI is much more prominent than practical effects or makeup and it can be obnoxiously noticeable at times, especially the arm scene once again. The biggest shrug I could give is to the heavily layered CGI ending that just made me go “Okay, guess that’s it” and this is the best category.
The Cloverfield Paradox is probably the biggest letdown in a franchise since Alien: Covenant. My expectations were high due to the incredible sequel, but this film just fell flat on its face. Having zero fascinating characters, a nonsensical mess of a plot, and just a laughable effort to connect it to the Cloverfield franchise. This film sadly makes me worry about any future installments because for anything to come, I’d like this film to be almost ignored entirely and just have the first two films be canon. But... sadly that’s not how movie franchises work, we must live with the bad ones to hopefully get back to some aspect of the good we once received.