The Cloverfield series loves to have movies with pretty much nothing to do with the original. You always get a little stinger at the end and that’s basically it. Unfortunately that is the case here as well as it just isn’t very relevant until the final scene and even then that is more of a tease than a full connection. The series is toying with the fans by this point so it’s best to watch this as a stand alone sci-fi film instead. Even then I would say it’s below average but I suppose it’s not super bad or anything. The logic of the universe just isn’t that great so while it’s trying to be very mysterious and cryptic, it feels like the movie is just cheating instead. There’s definitely one scene in particular that I’d say fits this bill.
So the Earth is in a big energy crisis and they have sent representatives from various countries to find a solution. This group was thrown onto a space station far in the sky and they have to do whatever they can. So they decide to work on a device that should give the Earth unlimited energy but unfortunately this goes sideways and they seem to open up a portal into another world. They have to try and get back to where they used to be but it won’t be easy. They have to fix parts of the spaceship that don’t work anymore and a lot of weird things keep happening on the ship. Are aliens among us?
This movie is dealing with a lot of sci-fi elements but doesn’t really get too out there with creatures and the like. The main dilemma here is really that they have to question everything they knew about physics. Everything’s just scattered and odd happenings start occurring like people phasing through walls and a hand just running around. Where I thought the film messed up was in throwing some clickbait to try and make you think that a bunch of aliens would show up. There’s an odd scene where these cables start choking someone and basically murder him as he gets crushed by a super magnet but you have to question how it happened. It seemed completely sentient the way it was moving but the rest of the film gives no indicat4ion that it was. So yes it’s a strong scene and definitely gets you nervous but it doesn’t make much sense within the context of the rest of the film. It’s more shock value than anything.
Not saying the movie would have been better off with aliens but this scene could have been changed a lot. The idea of trying to help an alternate version of yourself through writing is interesting and the film could have made that something interesting but even that element doesn’t get as much depth as you would expect. So what we have here is a sci-fi film that is only half heartedly jumping into the various concepts that it introduces. This is what keeps it from being the next big thing. Well, at least that’s one of the reasons.
We’ve got a decently big cast here and I wouldn’t even say the members are that bad. First up is Ava who is the main heroine here. She didn’t even want to go on this mission but it was the only way to potentially save her husband since the Earth wouldn’t be surviving much longer. So now that she is in space she has a lot of regrets and the idea of an alternate planet appeals to her. I will say from the jump that I think even being tempted to leave is not a good idea here. An alternate version of you may seem similar but ultimately it’s a complete different person.
So it’s best not to get attached or to distract yourself from the mission. Meanwhile you have Jensen who is a mysterious lady that appears on the ship after things start to get crazy. She reminds me of a lady who showed up late in the game in another sci-fi title called Astra Lost in Space. Jensen is a wild card here as of course the main characters can’t trust her but at the same time it’s not like they have a lot of choices either. At this point you really need all the help that you can get and you just have to hope that it goes well.
Ava’s husband doesn’t get a huge role but in a small subplot he tries to help a kid stay safe. It’s not like there are too many safe areas left but at least helping someone would be good. This plot is definitely going for the more emotional kind of vibes as it’s rather somber. It’s not until the end that this really goes anywhere. At least I did like the ending here though. This was a good cliffhanger and it gets you ready for the next film. Of course as always that seems like it’s probably a longshot but if it were to happen then that would definitely be cool. At least it ends things off on a hype note.
With a lot of drama going on in the ship you feel like this is yet another case where the heroes would do so much better if they weren’t constantly fighting among themselves. Inevitably this starts to become a country vs country thing. Some characters at least try not to get mixed up on this but it’s a very enclosed battleground so it’s not like there are a lot of places to run either. You’re basically stuck here as you just try to stay alive. There are some things that happen where you can’t blame the character for being in a bad spot like the poor guy who started merging with the wall. There wasn’t really a way to avoid that one but other things like creating a gun just amps up the odds of people snapping at each other.
The effects are good though. I thought that the spaceship looked good and it was big enough where you didn’t feel that the crew was too confined. We still got a decent amount of other sceneries throughout. On land everything was in a fairly bad spot early on so this may have been the best location for the movie to take place if you were trying to avoid the monsters for some reason. Meanwhile having the film take place on land would have been the best way to do a proper Cloverfield 2 so even to the end it feels like they are avoiding giving us what we’re really looking forward to and that’s another giant monster movie.
Overall, The Cloverfield Paradox shouldn’t have included the word “Cloverfield” at the end because this movie is barely connected to the franchise at all. They seem to love including this word just to drum up sales and it’s a bad idea. Keeping this as an individual sci-fi film would have been a much better idea. Ultimately it’s not like it would have changed a whole lot about the story itself but you can probably enjoy it more that way as opposed to waiting for the monster to appear each time. I think there are some interesting nuggets here to be sure but ultimately not enough to keep you really invested. This would have worked better as a full TV series as they start to see the differences between the Earths or maybe as a multi film series. As a stand alone you have to cover a lot of ground and so there isn’t time to really have the characters talk about this situation that they’re in. It makes for a bit of an underwhelming experience especially when it feels like the movie isn’t exactly sure of how these things work. Spending more time on the implications of this other world and some good dialogue could have helped it go to the next stage. Instead you will want to wait for the next Cloverfield film.