So, the new Cloverfield film has been pretty much bashed by critics and fans alike. The Rotten Tomatoes score is, as I write this, a whopping 17%. Ouch. For reference, the original Cloverfield scores a pretty neat 77% and 10 Cloverfield Lane even holds a brilliant score of 90%. So yeah. It’s a pretty bad film. And I agree that it’s by far the least of the three Cloverfields. But I actually quite enjoyed The Cloverfield Paradox. Let me tell you why.
I love surprises
Come on, tell me the truth: how many times does a filmrelease surprise you? Well, never. No matter how much I’m looking forward to a movie, I know the (approximate) release date. Avengers: Infinity War? April 25th. Solo: a Star Wars Story? May 23rd. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom? June 7th. Also, I apparently like films with a colon in it. But I digress.
During the much anticipated commercials/trailers/spots during last Super Bowl, the first trailer (ever) for The Cloverfield Paradox was shown to the audience. And it ended with a shocker: the film would be available right after the Super Bowl on Netflix! J.J. Abrams & Co did another surprise stunt for 10 Cloverfield Lane. Just a month after the trailer dropped, the film was released in theaters. So this time around, there hardly was any time between trailer and release.
You can say what you want, but The Cloverfield Paradox scores 100% for this marketing stunt with me. Seeing a film right after seeing the brand new trailer? That’s A+ material right there.
It runs parallel to Cloverfield
I’m not going into the timeline of The Cloverfield Paradox because that shit is confusing. Half of the time I didn’t know what was happening in what universe at what time. So while I agree with the critics on that point, I just decided to brush that off and just enjoy the film. And I can recommend watching it like that it to everyone. It makes it such a fun and entertaining film.
But this is more than just a Cloverfield chapter. When you sync both the first and this film, things happen at the same time during each film. Reddit user ____Ghost____ actually made a very cool sync video which proves this. Check it out here.
Example: at 18:20 in Cloverfield, the first monsters appear. At that exact moment in The Cloverfield Paradox the team succesfully launches the Shepherd particle accelerator. Mind = blown. Now, J.J. Abrams claims that this might just be coincidences but I don’t buy that. I think these two films are linked even more than just by name. Ofcourse, there are many more cool references and easter eggs throughout Paradox, like the shelter from 10 Cloverfield Lane.
I really liked the cast
Some critics say the characters are flat and lack any depth but that’s not what this film is about. It’s not about character development. And that makes it even better that each character still has some backstory or at the very least a cultural background. It’s a movie about monsters and parallel universes so don’t expect well written Martian-like characters.
The cast is super diverse and it looks like they had fun filming The Cloverfield Paradox. They read the script, they must’ve known this is no Oscar-worthy film. And that’s cool. Because we need films like this. We need more Netflix films, so that they can get better with time. So far, none of the Netflix Originals scored well (Bright and Mute both have terrible reviews) but first episodes of new television shows are also hardly ever good. I do have high hopes for Annihilation though.
Back to the cast. I especially liked Chris O’Dowd as Mundy. He gave the film the humor it deserved. He had the best oneliners and the best scenes. Even when Mundy lost his arm, he stayed positive and hilarious. I really hated it that he died. But at least his arm got to play the hero part later on. I also liked seeing Daniel Brühl as a good guy, after seeing him in Captain America: Civil War as Zemo.
Just go see the Cloverfield Paradox
The most important lesson is this: don’t always over analyse films. Some films are just meant to be fun and entertaining. And yes, the story is all over the place and the science bits are either ridiculous or hard to understand. But The Cloverfield Paradox is just a fun film set in a great universe. Don’t compare it to it’s better counterparts, just see it as a add-on with some nice characters, cool actors and some weird-ass shit. I liked it and think it deserves a better score. Go see for yourself, give it a shot.