Cloverfield Paradox ( previously called God Particle) hit Netflix late last night...late if you work in the morning like most people do. If you are a fan of Cloverfield you no doubt stayed up late to watch the movie...and you either was disappointed or you nodded your head and said “Okay I get it”....I personally had mixed feelings. Some things the movie did were great and definitely worked and other had no explanation or rather they just happened. I won’t go into spoilers until the very end so your safe, and like always I will try to cover the films own internal logic, its narrative, its world-building, and is it Cloverfield?
Cloverfield Paradox is at its core a logical film, it presents the science to the viewer without having the usual character that needs told what things do and why. They drop terms like the Higgs Boson, quantum entanglement, and particle acceleration without missing a beat. This could cause some viewers to lose track of the logic in some places; of the flaws in this film I found no real complaints about the logic. However all that said...they could have done a bit more to explain what was going on with the Earth. Without spoiling anything there is presented two dimensions each with its own Earth and its own version of the Cloverfield Station. We know of minor differences with the mirrored world however it doesn’t quite get the itch I want scratched with the world lore.
The writers of the story (Oren Uziel and Doug Jung) built what seems to be a populated world. Politics on Earth seem to bleed over onto the disconnected Cloverfield Station in a believable way. The only way I can see that would make it better is if it was explored more and was more relevant. There were parts of the film that felt like that belonged to another film and if they weren’t added to the film I don’t believe anyone would have noticed...in fact at the end it would have made it better. As for what is expected from a Cloverfield movie its world building while sparse makes sense, however due to this films almost futuristic setting it could use a bit more paint in places.
Paradox had it rough from the gate. Coming off the acclaim of 10 Cloverfield Lane, which admittedly I finished watching 20 minutes before Paradox, and bearing the same name as J.J. Abram’s name maker Paradox would have it rough. The narrative is where this movie really lacks, it doesn’t do anything that 1997’s Event Horizon didn’t already do. After the movie I went to Twitter to see if anybody else caught the same vibe from it and I wasn’t alone in that feeling. That however doesn’t automatically make it bad because for it’s time Event Horizon was pretty good...which makes the rerun of Event Horizon in the form of Cloverfield Paradox seem lackluster. There was an aspect of body horror that wasn’t really capitalized on...in fact other than its importance for a few scenes there wasn’t much usage of this horror aspect. It felt like story could have taken a few different approaches to the thriller genre and I believe if it had taken one aspect and ran with it then it would have been a bit better. It chose not to go for the psychological horror that it laid the plans for, it didn’t take the alien attack story that was low balled in by 10 Cloverfield Lane, and it certainly didn’t follow the Monster attack that could have been from 2008’s Cloverfield...Paradox felt like a very standard plot arc of bad thing happens they fix the thing but surprise something else happened and it’s not good. That being said I’ve seen worse films however after literally just finishing 10 Cloverfield Lane and thoroughly enjoying its creepy thriller vibe...Paradox disappointed me. While narrative-wise it did tie the previous Cloverfield movies together...it did so just barely. It didn’t take any chances or provide any real twists, if I’m being brutally honest it felt rushed and completely forgettable.
Is it Cloverfield?
In a word? No.
I’m going to take the gloves off, this film felt like it had nothing to do with Cloverfield until it was bought by Bad Robot and they slapped the word cloverfield in the script and filmed the end scene then went out for Slusho slushies. At one point we are privy to the exposition news network featuring a crazy scientist who said the firing of the macguffin would cause the cloverfield paradox...really the cloverfield station could cause the cloverfield paradox? What further drives the theory that this film was something completely different was that all the scientists spacesuits say “Helios” which I personally believe was the name of the station before getting a name change. In addition to the Paradox and the station there didn’t seem to be connection to the known Cloverfield save for the final scene.
Should you watch it? [[Spoilers Ahead]]
If you have Netflix, you are a fan of Cloverfield, or you like stock standard trans-dimensional romps? Sure. It doesn’t take the bold chances the previous Cloverfield films did but it's a fine movie.
If you don’t have Netflix, You could care less about trans-dimensional romps, or are a really big Cloverfield fan? No skip it. Other than the final scene where you see a monster from the same species as the monster from Cloverfield lunge through the clouds...other than that and some name changes it’s not a Cloverfield movie. Personally it was an okay film but by about the midpoint I checked out because everytime a problem got fixed a new problem sprang up...which is fine except it never took any real chances, its chance for big moments fell short. A woman was found in the wall for no discernable reason, a dude lost his arm in the wall...but it came back, and communication logs made someone look like a traiter which was immediately forgotten. The chances it gave itself it let die. The woman turned bad (gasp), the arm did one thing and was immediately forgotten (double gasp), and the possible traitor was locked up for about 3 minutes.
Would I watch this film again? I doubt it, I could rewatch Arrested Development or Fullmetal Alchemist again. I’d love to hear what your thoughts on the film and more importantly I want to hear why I’m wrong. So here is your challenge...send this article to someone you know that loved this film, I want their input and to be proven wrong.