The Cloverfield Paradox follows a team of scientists who are stuck in a quantum paradox after testing a perpetual energy solution in space. While space, time and reality bend and break around them, they have to work together and try to reverse the experiment before the universe is torn apart.
The Cloverfield Paradox Review
I've heard quite a few poor reviews of this film from friends and professionals alike, and to be honest I don't get the hate. It's not mind blowing or a masterclass in the scifi genre, but it was plenty entertaining and intriguing in my opinion.
In some ways it reminded me of Sphere, in that it was a crew of very smart, very flawed people trying to work together in a situation that nobody can fully comprehend. As we're tossed an inordinate amount of information in regards to their problem and possible solutions, we're bombarded with scenes that could easily be classified as horror, or something out of Neill Blomkamp's Oats Studios.
In fact, this movie feels a lot like a feature-length Oats Studios production. Abrams and Blomkamp seem to slowly be merging into one ceaseless amalgam of original scifi/thriller/horror content. I wish they'd work together, because between the two of them we could get enough scifi horror to last us years.
But, I will admit that Paradox is flawed. There is a great deal of maladroit dialogue, storytelling and acting that make it feel as fragmented and disjointed as the collapsing reality around them. While humor, drama and scifi intrigue can function in the same space fairly easily, this film seemed to struggle to find that medium. It was this uneasiness in the directing that disturbed me more than the actual material. Somehow it made me uncomfortable. Despite the fact that it was like a mild version of Event Horizon in some ways, the horror seeps in an unsettling way.
Unlike 10 Cloverfield Lane, Paradox gives us a more direct relation to the interconnecting Cloverfield universe Abrams is creating. We have another film in the "anthology series" coming out this year. And with the seemingly night and day reception of 10 Cloverfield Lane and Paradox, I'm concerned about what the future holds for these projects. They have the benefit of small budgets and no expensive marketing campaigns, so it's possible Abrams may just keep dishing them out without the need for momentous success.
I hope he does. Because in order to get true gems, things like Paradox are going to happen. And while I did enjoy it, it is easily the worst of the films so far. But I don't think this style and approach to filmmaking has a low floor, but does have an incredibly high ceiling. So I'm looking forward to more, even if there are some awkward pieces along the way.
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 6/10