The Cloverfield Paradox Movie Review Essay

The last I heard, Cloverfield 3 had been pushed back to September. Then, as I was looking through the ads aired during the Superbowl, I stumbled upon one for The Cloverfield Paradox. Originally titled The God Particle, this film explains where the monster from the first film came from and what exactly eagle-eye fans saw fall from the sky during the final scene of the first film.

The Cloverfield Paradox follows a team of six who have gone to space to test a particle accelerator. The test seems to be successful at first, but after a series of strange events occur, the team comes to the realization that they may have set a chain of events in motion that is irreversible and devastating.

If there’s one thing I admire about J.J. Abrams, it’s his knack for secrecy. Just like with the last film, no one knew this was coming out. No ads were aired with this film until the day of its release on Netflix. Why this wasn’t released in theatres is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps he thought he could reach a wider audience that way. Either way, it was a nice surprise.

The film itself was a nice homage to previous space horrors such as Alien and Life and expands on the ideas brought up in Interstellar. It certainly kept my interest, but as far as “new” goes, very little of it hasn’t been done before. In fact, the only element of the film that was fresh was its take on dimensions crashing into each other. Interstellar focused on travel to another dimension whereas this film depicted what would happen if two dimensions intersected. Oren Uziel and Doug Jung wrote the screenplay terrifically, expanding the Cloverfield universe and showing us that everything we thought we knew was completely wrong.

J.J. himself continues to stay a producer, same with the other two films. I still can’t help but wonder though just how much of the story in each film was his idea. The writing has been fantastic in all three films as has the directing. The only place Paradox falls short is its rehash of the “monster-in-space” theme that has been done to death. I realize that this was an explanation of where the Cloverfield alien dinosaur came from, but still, there has to be an approach that hasn’t been done again and again.

In conclusion, I for the most part enjoyed the film. It was slightly lesser than its two predecessors but not by much. I hope more Cloverfield films are on the way, as long as they keep the brilliance and suspense and never compromise. I give the film a 3 out of 4.

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