Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.
First, let’s just get out of the way that I am totally biased when it comes to the Cloverfield franchise. I was in the camp that loved the first film, shaky camera and all, as it was something different – it had that wonderful blend of sci-fi and horror and was (for the most part) completely unpredictable. I had my apprehensions before seeing the second as it was common knowledge that its script was reworked to fit into the Cloverfield universe. Thankfully though, it ended up a fantastic flick and was praised by critics and fans alike. Like the second, we have had little buildup for the third film, having its existence only revealed to us a day or so ago through a Super Bowl commercial…and now I sit here watching it on Netflix. It feels like Christmas in February. Now, with my giddiness out of the way, let’s talk The Cloverfield Paradox.
The Cloverfield Paradox is neither a sequel nor a prequel, but rather runs in parallel to the original film. What’s more, it primarily a Space Odyssey style flick in the vein of Event Horizon, Sunshine, Life, Alien…which just happens to be my favourite genre. Yay for me. The cast, as a bonus, is magnificent, with some of my personal favourites in starring roles like Chris O’Dowd and Zhang Ziyi, as well as the extraordinary talents of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo and Daniel Brühl to name but a few.
The film seamlessly blends space travel, sci-fi, humour, and horror. The characters are (mostly) likable and (somewhat) relatable, with a great script, awesome special effects, and notable cinematography. The set is incredible, with the spacecraft, costumes and attention to detail par excellence. The plot bobs and weaves, keeping us on our toes while staying entertaining scene for scene, round for round. Unfortunately, the film was not without its flaws. The lack of a discernible antagonist was, at times, frustrating. The “Paradox” made for a confusing and lackluster evil and the science (or lack thereof) was poorly defined. The where, what, and how of the creatures and happenings on the spacecraft were never fully explored and the lore never fully developed.
My personal gripes aside, the film is still an incredibly strong entry into a franchise that can easily boast diversity as its cornerstone when considering cinematic direction. All three films are incredibly different yet still fold together, forming a cohesive cinematic universe that is both praiseworthy and entertaining. I’d love to see the producers continue on this theme of very different films coalescing into one shared vision. There are so many possibilities and pathways that could be taken. I can already envision the next entry into the saga being something post-apocalyptic in nature – Mad Max with monsters humanity struggles to defeat. Magic.
To wrap up, I really enjoyed the film, though overall it seems like opinions are pretty mixed. Like I said earlier, this is everything that I love in a film (bad science aside) and found it entertaining and quite well acted. Catch the trailer below or simply go watch it on Netflix. As always, stay sordid.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.