The Cloverfield Paradox [2018]

Looking and feeling extremely familiar, this science fiction thriller is a pretty solid watch. Coming to us from Oren Uziel, the guy who rebooted Mortal Kombat movies and written scripts for several decent movies (22 Jump Street, Freaks of Nature, Shimmer Lake), this movie is the third installment in the Cloverfield franchise, following in footsteps of Cloverfield (2008) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016). According to the critics, this is the weakest movie of all three, but I beg to differ. The first one was found footage hype-fest and to me, this is the worst movie, with Paradox coming in at the second place and Lane sitting undisputed on a throne of Cloverfields. So, what do we have here? One standard issue modern science fiction movie tackling all the current topics (increasing tensions between nations, energy crisis, CERN experiments…) and looking pretty sleek. High production values, great camera work and more importantly very intelligent editing will take you directly to Cloverfield Station, orbiting Earth and trying to save humanity. They knew that after focusing only on the interior of the station, viewers need those gratuitous shots of space stuff, working cleverly within the constraints of a $45 million budget.

It is the year of our lord Satan 2028 and humanity is in dire trouble. The energy crisis has enveloped the world and as the resources are slowly dwindling down the tensions between big nations are rising. In a last-ditch effort, a space station has been constructed and launched in orbit near Earth. On it is the infamous Shepard particle accelerator, that, if fired correctly, should solve the energy crisis once and for all. An international crew is working around the clock trying to make this happen, but all the efforts so far have proved unsuccessful. At the same time, down on Earth, tensions are rising and World War III seems imminent if something doesn’t happen pretty soon. And something happened, something that should not have happened…

Going back to Event Horizon, Supernova and Sunshine and more recent entries like Life and series Origin, we see pretty much the same pattern of storytelling, atmosphere and special effects, so if you’re looking to continue your exploration of this sub-genre be sure to check out these entries. Starring Daniel Brühl, Chris O’Dowd, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Aksel Hennie (you’ll recognize him as archetypal Russian guy from many movies and series), the cast did a wonderful job and this really helped with the atmosphere. The only problem with this movie is its incoherent storytelling. Everything seems a bit disjointed, like the writer could decide what genre or what vibe this movie should send out. What irritated me the most was this family thing, for fucks sake, it’s 2028 if humans haven’t figured out that their family is important then we should go extinct. Some explanation can be found in the fact that this script had nothing to do with the whole Cloverfield thing, but was altered to fit in this universe because it had a similar vibe and was desperately in need of funding to pull off those great visuals. Perhaps I am being too harsh with this whole incoherent thing, because the movie was really fun and not too boring, especially towards the end. If it will help you, you might call it a guilty pleasure :)

Director: Julius Onah

Writer: Oren Uziel, Doug Jung

Cast: Daniel Brühl, Chris O’Dowd, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ziyi Zhang, John Ortiz, David Oyelowo


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