The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
Director: Julius Onah
Writers: Oren Uziel
*Warning* Here there be spoilers*
A crew of misfits head into outer space to solve the world’s energy problem. At least I think that’s what they were up to. They are charging a giant laser which in turn will give the world peace and prosperity. Apparently there is a (unseen) war raging on Earth and this lovable, mismatched crew of scientists holds the key to survival. But there’s a catch you see. A paradox if you will. If you charge the flux capacitor to the required 1.21 gigawatts then it will explode in an orgy of inter-dimensional mishmash and what have you. But no one listens to mad scientists or their paradox detractors so they march ahead and make a derivative sci-fi flick anyway.
The lead actress in this movie, (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), is very talented when it comes to portraying despair. She cries a single tear at least five times in this movie. There are many instances where we see a lone tear roll down her face as she conveys the agony of losing a child and again with the knowledge that her children may still be alive in another dimension. The filmmakers pushed her to show emotion as there was not a lot to care about on the doomed spacecraft.
I also shed a lone tear while watching “The Cloverfield Paradox” as I (slowly) realized that out of all of the insane inter-dimensional events that transpire, none of them will unleash a monster. Wasn’t that the point of this movie? To explain how the creatures came into existence? Tears ran down my face as I witnessed the ending to this movie. As our brave heroes descend from space, their craft falls through the clouds and a giant monster springs up out of it. My God man. The real movie was on Earth this whole time! Why were we wasting our time on the spacecraft when we could have been watching the Cloverfield Godzilla? What a lame paradox.
Do you have any idea how many movies I have seen where the mad scientists march ahead and things go awry? Too many to think about. Aside from a few minor interesting takes on dimension swapping, (Elizabeth Debicki pops up woven into a maintenance panel), this movie had nothing new to offer. What would have been interesting is seeing what level of Cloverfield hell they unleashed on Earth. But that would have been too entertaining and this movie will have none of that.
I liked the first “Cloverfield” and I really liked “10 Cloverfield Lane”, (John Goodman should have gotten an Oscar nomination), but “The Cloverfield Paradox” will leave you wishing you were back in the bunker with Goodman. At least on “10 Cloverfield Lane” there were nightmares worth hiding from. For this movie, we are left with scientists bumbling along on a spacecraft as they blame each other for the banality of this movie. While “The Cloverfield Paradox” is certainly watchable, it’s a movie that has been made many times before and not necessary to fill in any perceived Cloverfield gaps of knowledge.
SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 crying scientists