Netflix Drops A Monster Sized Bomb
Remember Cloverfield; the interesting found footage monster movie from ten years ago, and its rather excellent psychological horror sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane from 2016? Well, during the Superbowl Netflix debuted the first trailer for The Cloverfield Paradox - the third movie in the franchise, and a movie that from the trailer, promised to tell us where the monster from the original movie came from. Though, it wasn't until at the very end of the trailer where Netflix really dropped a bomb - it was available to watch immediately after the game; worldwide & only 3 hours after the first trailer had been released.
The Cloverfield Paradox is directed by Julius Onah & produced by J.J. Abrams. It stars Daniel Brühl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O'Dowd, David Oyelowo & Elizabeth Debicki to name a few. Check out the trailer below.
The way in which The Cloverfield Paradox was released was unheard of in the movie industry, and something that I guess only really Netflix could pull off. But was it a masterstroke or a a load of wasted potential? Well the answer is a bit of both really.
The Cloverfield Paradox focuses on a group of astronauts/scientists who are working on a space station above Earth. Their goal is to solve Earth's energy crisis by starting a on board particle accelerator that will create a source of infinite energy for Earth to harvest. Critics & sceptics of the technology fear that it will create an opening to an alternate universe will unleash all sorts of horrors on Earth. While I wont delve into too much detail in order not to spoil the movie; things don't quite go as planned & quickly spiral out of control.
It's an interesting premise for a Sci-Fi movie - however one not too dissimilar from last year's Life, and it's certainly hard to ignore the comparisons. For a movie that is set in an such enclosed space for its majority, with a large cast of characters; it spends so much time with long rambling speeches about parallel universes & alternate dimensions that it spends very little time actually developing these characters. The movie is filled with character stereotypes; an efficient German engineer (Brühl), the wisecracking Irishman (O'Dowd) & an uptight Russian, with an over fondness for guns (Aksel Hennie) - the only character that I ever really cared for was Hamilton (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw). Her character is the only one who is really given some background & due to a horrifying past incident involving her children, she has a clear drive throughout the movie & her performance at least invokes some emotion.
One big positive of the movie is the visuals - it is certainly a delight for the eyes & it is easy to tell that it has been filmed incredibly well. There are several spectacular set pieces throughout; disappearing planets, huge space explosions & a particularly strange one involving a severed arm. These visuals for the most part, were enough to keep me engaged.
As a whole, the movie just doesn't quite work - that's not to say that I didn't like it, because there were parts of it that I enjoyed; thehighly impressive visuals & Gugu Mbatha-Raw's character in particular. Also, I am a bit of a movie nerd & because this is "part" of a franchise that I was already invested in - I just had to watch it. However, for a movie that promised to provide some answers to questions posed by a franchise that kicked off almost a decade ago; we are frustratingly left with more questions than answers. With a fourth movie (currently titled Overlord)in the franchise planned for later this year, we may see some light shed on these mysteries, however with J.J. at the helm that these are sadly answers that we might never get.
Overall, The Cloverfield Paradox gets 2.5 out of 5 stars from me.
You stream The Cloverfield Paradox right now on Netflix.
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