Review: The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Cloverfield Para

+ Recommended – TV-MA, Drama, Sci-Fi

Why do people have so much hate for the third installment in the Cloverfield franchise? Probably because a lot of critics associate a troubled production with a bad film. While this may be true in most troubled productions, that is not always the case.

A little under two weeks ago, we wrote a news article on the confusion behind the next installment in the Cloverfield franchise. The film was formerly called “God Particle” and was re-titled to The Cloverfield Paradox. At the super bowl this past Sunday, Netflix released a teaser; confirming that Paramount was releasing this title on Netflix. However, unlike any other film in recent memory, it was being released later that Sunday night after the super bowl; a brilliant marketing move by Netflix.

And just like that the world was captivated. I remember seeing numerous polls asking what the best trailer of the night was and a lot of people voted for this third installment. I have a feeling that this tactic is going to be beneficial for streaming platforms in the future. An argument could be made that if this movie was released in theatres with a normal marketing campaign that it would have bombed at the box office. I, personally, could see that happening.

But is this a bad film? No, I don’t think so. Is it a great film? No. It’s just okay. I think part of the problem people have with this movie could be contributed to the hype that followed the teaser and announcement of the release. It’s understandable for audiences to demand a higher quality for their movies, especially if the production had been stalled to improve the quality. However, the argument lies therein that people won’t be as upset with the quality of films or television shows on Netflix.

The visuals are competent; nothing we haven’t seen in relation to other recent sci-fi films like Alien: Covenant and Life. It’s entertaining and a particular plot device paves way for a for some interesting moments. Albeit, that device wasn’t used to its full potential. Typically I’m against retreading plot elements in franchises, but with Cloverfield, I suppose it’s different. In this installment the franchise moves away from a more contained story centered around characters and it didn’t work for me in that regard.

Characters need to be strong in order for a story to truly work. The first two films present their characters in an interesting manner and many of them are unique. I couldn’t identify with the majority of the characters here. In fact, I only cared about two. Luckily the main character, Hamilton (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), is one of them along with her husband played by Roger Davies. They had the most compelling story line and yet it was the one that the focus of the film neglected. When the story switches back and forth between space and Earth, it often feels like two separate movies. I wanted to stay on Earth.

While the characters weren’t, the cast was strong. David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki and the rest of the cast have undeniable talent. It’s unfortunate that the movie didn’t capitalize on them. As for everything else, it’s just meh. Watch this film if you have nothing else to do and need your space-thirst quenched. What did you think of the movie? Let us know in the comments below!

Author: Jared Charles

I am the owner of The Burrow Reviews. Currently studying Film, English, Political Science, and Gender Studies.

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