Cloverfield Paradox: A Franchise at the Crossroads.
Originally posted 2/6/2018
Watching the Cloverfield monster destroy New York in 2008 was one of the most creative uses of the found footage trope that I had ever seen. 10 Cloverfield lane was one of my favorite films of 2017. Both movies were totally different but tied together by a a name and bizarre set of circumstances.
The Cloverfield paradox is a decent movie bordering on meh. Not good, not great, but as high on the meh scale as you can get. The movie has interesting concepts that can lead to endless speculation regarding the nature of this universe. Three films deep the cloververse is still setting up questions with little or real hint of a payoff. There is a scene in the movie where I pieced together what was going on with the plot and in that moment I felt the film had the potential to be brilliant. As the movie went on and there was no real payoff, my enthusiasm gradually declined and by the end I wasn’t disappointed, I just resigned myself to the eventual conclusion.
The movie raises interesting questions but this has to be one of the sloppiest cinematic experiences I can recall in recent memory. All of the acting is serviceable. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is great in the lead role even though the plot doesn’t really give her a lot to work with. I also was pleasantly surprised to see Daniel Brühl in the movie. He was great in Captain America: Civil War (Baron Zemo) and he continues here portraying another interesting character.
If the franchise can tie these films together it can potentially be salvaged. However, if Paradox is any indication of the direction of the series it may go down in flames. You can only build speculation for so long without giving any meaningful answers. You will lose your audience. They will tune out, they won't care. I was constantly reminded of Bioshock, a game that tackled a similar theme of altered reality and time paradoxes. Bioshock handled the concept a lot better and by comparison Paradox is simply a mess.
I’m still holding out hope. I love Cloverfield, I love the franchise and the monsters but I did not love this movie.