The Cloverfield Paradox Is Not The Event Film We Wanted

The Cloverfield Paradox. Courtesy of Netflix

Despite taking the world by surprise when Netflix announced to the world that the film would be released immediately after the Super Bowl, The Cloverfield Paradox is not the event film that streaming provider thought they were getting.  Instead, it was worse–way worse.  It’s a bad sign for a film when it struggles to not only keep one awake but make them want to gouge their eyes out while watching.

Directed by Julius Onah from a screenplay written by Oren Uziel, the J.J. Abrams-produced thriller stars Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Bruhl, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Chris O’Dowd, Ziyi Zhang and David Oyelowo.

What we know about the film is this: it’s set on an space station with a crew of astronauts from across the globe working to solve the current energy crisis that plagues earth.  The technology on board includes the Shephard Particle Accelerator and just as soon as they use it, it quickly backfires much to their dismay.  HELLO?!? DID NOBODY SEE THE FLASH?!?  OF COURSE, THIS WAS A BAD IDEA!

 The crew is soon fighting to survive in outer space in a thriller that doesn’t really know which direction to go.  It’s only when Ava Hamilton (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Schmidt (Daniel Brühl) are descending past the clouds in which we get a glimpse of the monster from the first film–the monster was built up in the first film so we all know it’s coming especially since Ava’s husband, Michael (Roger Davies), saw the shadow early on and pleas with Mission Control about allowing them back on the ground when it’s a war zone.  He is more of a bit player in the film’s glimpse of what’s happening on the ground.

What was nice about the opening credits was how they were able to do a montage and show just how much time as passed since the space station, more or less, stopped working in the way that it should.  This is one of the few nice things to say about the film.  There’s a television news journalist (Suzanne Cryer, but is she reprising her role from 10 Cloverfield Lane or playing a different one) interviewing author Mark Stambler (Donal Logue) on television about his book, The Cloverfield Paradox.  The film gets its title from the conspiracy theorist’s book.  He argues that what’s contained on the station could tear apart the universe and put a ripple in the space-time continuum.  Also, he film manages to retcon the original 2008 film given that the station didn’t seem to crash and kill the entire crew.

The film more or less serves as a way to use the Cloverfield name in order to attract an audience but a decent first half aside, it gets messy from there on out.  It’s not the event film that Netflix wanted it to be–it’s the typical film dumped in the month of January and more or less early February.

Netflix released The Cloverfield Paradox on February 4, 2018, immediately following the Super Bowl.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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