The Cloverfield Paradox

So here’s that movie, the one where the trailer debuted during the superbowl, and the full movie was live on Netflix immediately after, making it out to be some kind of “event.” Then it got awful reviews everywhere, making the real story how Paramount ditched their shit film and how dumb Netflix got suckered into thinking this would somehow be a win for their service. But how bad is it? Is it really that bad? The answer is very bad, and yes, and the only possible response is to yell “Suckers!” at Netflix from out the window of a passing vehicle.

Also, the astonishing thought that this was even considered for theatrical release at all.

So it would hap that there’s a big, pretty cool space station with a particle collider. It seems that the Earth has fallen victim to various environmental catastrophes, explained during an opening text, and then re-explained by our main character in a massive, quite obvious exposition dump. Soon, you start to notice that the film has spent all of its budget on space station effects, which are quite nice, but not a cent on earthbound environmental effects, of which we see not a one. There is an amusing moment in which the guy left behind explains how awful life on earth is now, with violence plaguing the streets and power blackouts and so much that life is barely worth living, while he sits in a lovely, spacious bedroom with spotless linens and numerous Crate n’ Barrel-esque touches.

Meanwhile, in space, our ostentatiously diverse crew includes several overqualified actors, to the point where you’re watching it like “Really? David Oyelowo is doing so badly he has to be in THIS? Ziyi Zhang is struggling so bad she has to be in THIS?” And can we just be honest that Daniel Bruhl is just kind of a strange presence? No matter how intense he gets, he seems cool and detached, and he just kind of cancels himself out as an actor. He was quite good as the twisted mastermind in Captain America: Civil War, but… he’s a special case, that’s all I’m saying. The lead actress is mainly tasked with staring at various things with teary eyes.

We once more have cause to wonder that we’re STILL making Alien ripoffs forty years later, and several shots and concepts toward the beginning are obvious retreads. Then they set off the collider, things go wrong, and they’re in a different dimension, with a lot of new ways to die one by one, as they station itself comes apart. You know, THAT movie. So this is just like Alien, or any of its countless ripoffs, except that anything might happen here, which makes it mildly amusing, depending on your tolerance for absolute bullshit. One of the more amusing tangents is that Chris O’Down gets his arm sucked into a wall, which means that his every line until he is killed off will somehow reference his lost arm.

Anyway, while it is absolute shit, and nothing relating to it should ever have even been thought of, not to say made, that’s not to say it isn’t watchable, at least until the last third, when the lack of budget becomes its most noticeable feature. When you realize that all of the threats throughout were just so many unconnected events that are not, in fact, going to amount to any more than a hill of beans, and the “climax” is going to be one character chasing around another with a gun, because: budget. But soon it’s over, leaving you to wonder who, in this whole imbroglio, was the biggest a sucker, a group that includes you.

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2 thoughts on “The Cloverfield Paradox

  1. I would be interested in your thoughts on the other “big” studio science fiction film that went direct to Netflix for most of the world – Annihilation! Any plans to review?

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