Movie Review: THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX

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So this was what I was planning for my Sunday: stop at used bookstores to find out of print dvds and then head back home where I can indulge on a stack of blind buys and Uber Eats. I did my grocery shopping a couple days ago because I refuse to embrace the grocery store the same day as the Super Bowl. Now, here is where I make an admission, one that I’m not too entirely proud of: I am one of the one percent. No, not the one percent that’s rich and lives off of royalties, but the one percent who doesn’t get into sports. I don’t understand and never have I been able to find an interest in it. Every year, the Super Bowl is a guaranteed day where I will be left alone and that’s not a bad thing. Lately I’ve been enjoying my days of solitude and just being a lazy piece of shit, but I don’t mind the occasional text. Well, today was no Super Bowl like any other and it had nothing to do with whoever was playing or performing during the halftime show. I was too busy watching Scream Factory’s latest release of Drag Me To Hell (go buy it!!!!) when I received an iMessage from our very own Editor in Chief, Shannon, informing me that there’s a new Cloverfield premiering on Netflix after the game. I almost spit out my Cajun chicken sandwich, but then remembered it was a $25 sandwich.

I was aware that there was a film under the title THE GOD PARTICLE floating around that supposedly was transformed to fit into the Cloverfield universe and it involved outer space last year, but not much came of it. Then, there was that rumor that Netflix was buying it which was more exciting. I wouldn’t have to deal with pretentious geeks in the theater that scoff at every moment they find illogical. Luckily, Drag Me To Hell ended right when the movie went live on Netflix. I shut off all the lights and silenced my phone as nothing was going to interrupt this experience. I’m not saying this franchise is game changing, but the films carry so much mystery and open world that I get excited to jump into.

Under the new title THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX, the franchise continues as we follow a space crew to initiate a particle accelerator as Earth is now suffering from a global energy crisis. While promising, there are also skeptics that have become celebrities with their theories of the “Cloverfield Paradox,” which means the results of this operation could mean the opening of other dimensions where monsters could travel through. Of course, the theories are laughed at, but there’s nothing but dread as the crew find themselves in a space without Earth and strange occurrences begin on the ship. Not much more should be said of the plot as watching the events unfold is all part of the fun.

However, there’s not too much fun to be had here. This is a rather grim science fiction story that feels almost like Brit Marling was assigned to write a remake of Event Horizon. It all just feels too familiar even if the plot is a bit intriguing. The events taken in space remind us of many other famous science fiction films such as Alien and even Marling’s own Another Earth. Now, if you’ve seen Another Earth then you might know where I’m going with this and some of the themes PARADOX explores, mixing science fiction with human morale, but providing examples would spoil too much.

One thing I really liked about THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX is that we get to experience both what is going on in space and how those events affect what’s going on at home. All I’m going to say is things aren’t going too well on Earth after this experiment and I found these events to be far more interesting than what was going on out there. For those following the franchise, this will be an interesting topic of conversation. The film overall feels a bit out of place in the universe throughout tonally, but the ending will leaving a smile on your face as it definitely made it all worth it for me. 

Jovy Skol
 

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