The Cloverfield Paradox – a dirty, re-gifted surprise

Among those trailers amazing movie trailers during this year's Super Bowl broadcast, out of nowhere, came the Netflix exclusive The Cloverfield Paradox. To everybody's complete surprise and delight it was available to watch straight after the game.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the Cloverfield Paradox GDP-08575.raf


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It was an interesting move from Netflix to spring this on everyone, I’ve got my doubts about wether or not it was a smart one, because the movie, is a derivative dumpster fire. And while it’s a total blazing mess for its entire one hour and forty two minutes, it doesn’t hold a single flame to any of the films it so blatantly draws from.

Where did this come from?

Now I have no idea how Netflix tracks the success of their films, given they’re scattered amongst loads of content available to an already captive audience of subscribers. I don’t really care either. But after watching this movie I was scratching my head as to why they would waste an entire SuperBowl ad spot on it because it really just seems like an interesting attempt to make a pavlova out of shit. Like they’ve called a meeting and said “ok guys, this movie is awful, what are we gonna do with it to get some kind of return on investment?” One genius pipes up and says, “I’ve got it, we run an ad during the Super Bowl along with all the other blockbusters but we make our movie available to stream straight right after the game, people will be drunk out of their minds and they won’t even notice how terrible it is. Brilliant!”

I guess if more people watch it all at once, even if they hate it it doesn’t matter right? That possibly renders this review pointless, but I’m doing it anyway!

Is this some kind of re-skinning of another movie?

The one thing this movie does do is tie the Cloverfield universes together. There might be a small spoiler there. Sorry. However, this story didn’t even start out as a Cloverfield movie. Paramount apparently had intended to release this as a standalone film called God Particle, so even they didn’t know what to do with it back then.

I’m imagining their meeting went something like, “call the space station Cloverfield station and use the God Particle concept to create an origins story that really fucking loosely ties the other two movies together then offers a preposterous explanation as to how and why everything happened in both. As a viewer it makes you feel cheap, like someone has just used you for sex and then cast you aside. Maybe we could make a hashtag for that?

The original poster for the film when it was titled "God Particle"

If I’m being honest, none of the Cloverfield movies have rocked my world, although I’ve enjoyed them for what they are. I mean what’s not to like about a monster destroying a city or being locked in a survivalist bunker with John Goodman right?

I think writers Oren Uziel and Doug Jung along with director Julius Onah probably thought similar of sending a rag tag bunch of astronauts into space, on a scientific mission to save the earth completely unaware of what horrors await them. That should get the juices flowing too right? But we’ve seen this type of story done way better, and many many times before with films like Event Horizon, 2001, Alien and pretty much any other movie where you’ve got astronauts stuck out in space.

What’s it about?

It’s set about ten years into the future, there’s a massive energy crisis affecting the entire planet and they have this particle accelerator set up on a space station. They theorise that successfully firing this device will provide the Earth with a new and infinite power source, however there are those out there who suggest it will trigger the Cloverfield Paradox which will lead to a more sinister and potentially devastating turn of events.

I actually feel kind of bad for the cast because their performances are decent, they certainly carry the film as best they can especially Gugu Mbatha-Raw who you might recognise from Black Mirror and Daniel Bruhl who played Niki Lauda in Rush, but it’s not enough to save this film from crashing into the atmosphere and burning up on re-entry.

What’s the verdict?

The only thing interesting about this movie is how they released it on an unsuspecting audience. Now imagine if they had’ve done that with an awesome movie?

They NEVER would.

Because if they knew they were onto something great they’d hype it up for months and sell advance tickets and all kinds of shit. They certainly wouldn’t be like “here’s this amazing movie we spent millions and were really proud of it, but you know what, because you’re good people and you work hard, we’re gonna give this one to you for free, just to say thanks for being you, it’s ready for you to watch at home right now”.

Way too good to ever be true.

Netflix are on fire with their original series but they are really struggling to hit the mark with their exclusive movies, I feel like they’re today’s version of straight to video.

Not even a case of beer and the tears of Tom Brady could make this movie enjoyable. The Cloverfield Paradox gets 1 out of 5.


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