If Alien and Black Mirror had a baby they would name it The Cloverfield Paradox. While both of those titles are admirable franchises to aspire to emulate, when there is zero identity of its own which Paradox has almost none, you start to wonder why you’re watching this movie when you can just turn on Alien or Black Mirror. As for the Cloverfield connection it becomes more of a crutch rather than an asset or unique view of an already established universe. Take away any Cloverfield related information and all you have left is a run-of-the-mill space disaster film. While it does possess moments of excitement with a fast pace that creates some tension it feels familiar at every turn.
A film released last year called Life was a far better execution at paying tribute to the sci-fi horrors that paved the way for films like it. With a similar vibe to Paradox, Life paid homage but also tried to establish its own identity. Paradox is essentially a grab bag of used parts slapped together and polished to look pretty. And this movie does look great with solid special effects but it’s nowhere enough to counterbalance the lack of coherent story that is sorely missing.
A solid cast takes a mildly interesting premise and tries their best to make it something better but ultimately it feels like an exercise in futility. And to clarify the most interesting aspects are that of the Cloverfield universe that this film latches onto instead of creating or adding to.
When 10 Cloverfield Lane was being made it originally wasn’t a Cloverfield film. It was simply a thriller contained in a basement starring an unstable man and his possible kidnap victims. The mystery of his claims fueled the film and gave the cast a wonderful platform to jump off and give fantastic performances. A great script allowed for great acting, they play off of one another and help the overall project become something memorable; it’s a team effort. Paradox thinks it’s neat to be connected to Cloverfield but does little with that fact to make its own story better and the overall universe better. It’s just kind of there, with little care as to why and how all the chaos of monsters began in the first place. Perhaps these films would all benefit if they started out as something else, something completely unrelated to Cloverfield like 10 Cloverfield Lane. Who’s to say?
In the end, the film is entertaining enough to be better than bad and to leave its audience not satisfied but not angry either; sort of middle of the road enthusiasm. For all the mystery surrounding this project, the release of the film, its sudden surprise arrival after the Super Bowl is by far the most exciting element of its existence. The advertising should create anticipation for the project, not outshine it altogether. Hey, at least the Patriots lost, there’s your silver lining. Hahaha!!!
Rated TV-MA For: Language, violence, and thematic elements
Runtime: 102 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Sci-fi
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl, John Ortiz, Chris O’Dowd
Directed By: Julius Onah
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2.5/ Acting: 3.5/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 4
OVERALL: 2.5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: No. Just watch it on Netflix and leave it at that.
Check out the trailer below:
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