I’d be surprised if, when Drew Goddard, writer of the original Cloverfield movie, wrote said movie, he anticipated it would turn into the behemoth it has become.
This is the third outing, coming on the heels of the 2016 10 Cloverfield Lane – which is largely forgotten here, for the Cloverfield universe.
These scientists, from all different countries, are attempting to start a particle accelerator that is the last great saviour of Earth, which is currently experiencing an energy crisis, in so much as they have none.
David Oyelowo (Red Tails, Selma) is the man in charge of the station, Daniel Bruhl (Captain America: Civil War, Rush) is one of the main particle accelerator scientists along with Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House Of Flying Daggers) whilst John Ortiz (Silver Linings Playbook, The Drop) is the doctor, Aksel Hennie (Headhunters, Uno) is Mr. Angry and Chris O’Dowd (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Molly’s Game) is the man responsible for keeping the station in working order.
After a few failed attempts at kick starting the accelerator, they finally manage to get it going, only to discover that, rather than supply the limitless energy they hoped, it has actually opened a tear in space and thrown them into an alternative universe and allowed monsters into theirs.
It’s in this alternative universe that they find Elizabeth Debicki (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.), in a rather unpleasant situation, who, in this alternative universe, is the equivalent scientist to Ziyi Zhang.
Strange events begin to occur on the station, events that aren’t explainable by usual physics, some of which are funny too, mainly down to Chris O’Dowd, and suspicions begin to arise as the politics of Earth make their way to the station.
The crew need to jump start the accelerator once more in order to reverse the trip they’ve made and get home, but that’s easier said than done and not everyone wants to leave, and not everyone is happy to let others leave.
Whilst I enjoyed the original Cloverfield movie and quite enjoyed the John Goodman sequel, it’s hard to see where The Cloverfield Paradox fits into it all.
The performances are fine, there are some very good actors on show so this is the least you can expect, but the story is predictable and cliched and there’s an odd feel, particularly at the start of the film, that almost feels cheap.
There’s a side story involving Mbatha-Raw and her husband, Roger Davies (Hounded (TV), Family Affairs (TV)), who is stuck on Earth and actually has the more interesting looking story of the two, but we get to see so little of it that it ends up becoming an odd distraction from the events taking place in space.
Anyone hoping for more monster movie goodness would be better watching the final minute and forgoing the rest of the film as, if this is anything to go by, what we’ve witnessed won’t have any bearing to the inevitable follow up that looks on the cards.
Oren Uziel (Shimmer Lake, 22 Jump Street) is the man at the keyboard whilst Julius Onah (The Girl Is In Trouble, Broken Arrow (Short)) is the man behind the camera.
Uziel, it appears to me at least, has borrowed heavily from other sci-fi movies, there’s a passing familiarity to Event Horizon as one example. Onah meanwhile handles things ok, but never really explores the shots that are possible in space in the way, say, Kubrick or Cuaron have done before him.
Wikipedia states that a paradox is: “a statement that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, leads to an apparently self-contradictory or logically unacceptable conclusion”, I think that latter part sums up The Cloverfield Paradox nicely.