Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – The Cloverfield Paradox

Summary: In the not too distant future, the planet Earth is starving for an energy source, causing countries and people to get desperate. Ava Hamilton (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is part of a crew working on the Cloverfield space station equipped with its own particle accelerator to create some kind of infinite energy source. After two frustrating years, the crew finally pulls off a successful test… but find themselves somewhere with no visible Earth nor any way to contact it. On top of that, abnormalities start to plague the station, like gravity acting in strange ways, the hull and systems warping in problematic ways, and a mysterious woman named Mina Jensen (Elizabeth Debicki) suddenly appearing in the walls. One thing is for sure: if they don’t find a way home, they could wind up as space debris.

Review: The Cloverfield Paradox is certainly an interesting movie… until you think about it and realize that not one thing about it makes any g****** sense. This is one of those movies that lazily uses a science phenomenon to justify whatever it wants to happen, even if they don’t connect to it in any way. I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure that the collision of the Higgs boson particle doesn’t result in spatial warp or severed limbs becoming animate with sentient thought. On top of that, it’s ludicrous to think that someone didn’t think of a different alternative energy source before resorting to bending the space-time continuum over one’s knee. I’m glad I didn’t watch this with a science person because they probably would have had several chunky aneurysms.

It’s also kind of astounding how much happens that doesn’t pay off or connect to anything. One of the crew goes crazy because they got filled up with worms and hears someone talking to them, telling them to kill the crew. That goes absolutely nowhere. A bunch of ball bearings wrap a guy to the wall and go full Evil Dead on him. This doesn’t get explained, especially since they were originally attracted to a freak magnetic manifestation. The end result is some unholy hybrid of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, Event Horizon, and The Black Hole that refuses to die no matter how many times you try and put it out of its misery.

However, the biggest failings are the attempts to connect it to the Cloverfield universe. Apparently, this started out as an unconnected project named God Particle until J.J. Abrams and his company bought the film and tried to retroactively work it in. Learning this explained quite a bit because everything connecting it to the other two Cloverfield movies feels like a hack staple job. One such attempt is some scenes on Earth with Ava’s husband Michael (Roger Davies) that are so disconnected with the main plot, they rank up there with Sean Bean’s scenes in Silent Hill in terms of irrelevance. That said, it does provide a connection and explanation for events in the other movies… an explanation that would have slipped by if you hadn’t paid attention and requires you to think way too hard about this movie.

If nothing else, the cast are incredibly talented and the dialogue can be pretty solid at times. I almost came away from this film with a positive take on it before I had to ask myself what I actually liked about this film. I’m honestly not sure I can recommend it to anyone — the average Joe and Jane will come away confused and the thinking folk would be frustrated at best. In fact, from what I saw, I can’t say it would have been a good film even before J.J. Abrams tried to glue it to his pet franchise. It was definitely a good call for Paramount to sell this to Netflix because if this hit theaters, it probably would have lost them so much money that they would have become Disney’s next buyout.

Fun Tidbit: One of the more interesting connections to the Cloverfield films is an interview with one Mark Stambler (Donal Logue). Stambler was the last name of John Goodman’s character in 10 Cloverfield Lane and the interviewer was played by Suzanne Cryer, who played the woman who tried to get into the bunker in said movie.

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