Saturday, 17 February 2018

Review #1,304: 'The Cloverfield Paradox' (2018)

If by some miracle Julius Onah's The Cloverfield Paradox is remembered in the years to come, it won't be for its qualities as a sci-fi actioner or its position in the intriguing and mysterious Cloverfield franchise, but for its rather ingenious marketing campaign. Audiences were aware of its existence under the name God Particle, but like the previous two entries in J.J. Abrams' monster series, everything about the movie was kept under wraps. Cue the Superbowl, where production studios clamber to show their latest trailers to the largest audience in the U.S., and the film, now under the name of The Cloverfield Paradox was finally unveiled. Much to everybody's surprise, they wouldn't have to wait several months to see it in the cinemas, but it would be available to stream on Netflix straight after the game. Now, you don't even need to leave the house to see the latest blockbuster in all its glory, but could watch it in your pants while intoxicated, with Doritos crumbs dotted down your front.

As I stated earlier, this was an ingenious move, but only on one side of the deal: Abrams and Paramount. Obviously sensing an utter stinker, they managed to flog this tarted-up straight-to-DVD effort to Netflix for more than $50 million. It started strongly, but the viewing figures started to die away as audiences sobered up. Hampered with a horrible, TV-level script, a willingness to steal from far better films, and a central mystery that gets explained to us before the story has even kicked in, The Cloverfield Paradox is barely a movie but a string of cliches played out by an enormously talented cast, which includes the likes of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, Zhang Ziyi, John Ortiz, Aksel Hennie and annoying comic relief Chris O'Dowd, all of whose eyes look oddly glazed over. If I had paid £9 or whatever ridiculous price the cinema is these days, I would be asking for my money back. Luckily I have Netflix, so I get to watch this crap for a small monthly payment. 

Set in 2028, the Earth is experiencing a global energy crisis and the crew aboard the orbiting Cloverfield Space Station are humanity's only hope. They aim to unleash the Shepard particle accelerator, which will generate infinite energy and save our species. Some, however, believe this will open up parallel universes and alternate dimensions, allowing demons and monsters into our world, tearing a hole in reality as we know it. When things start to get freaky, we know precisely what has happened, so are forced to suffer being two steps ahead of the crew for the remainder of the film. Things liven up slightly when a mysterious passenger winds up on board, played by the radiant Elizabeth Debicki, but by this time I was tired of seeing all my predictions come true. The Cloverfield Paradox feels like a forgotten straight-to-DVD relic from the early 2000s, dusted off and re-edited to loosely tie in with Cloverfield franchise. How they convinced Netflix to cough up $50 million is beyond me. Abrams should have done the decent thing and spared us of this nonsense altogether.

Directed by: Julius Onah
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl, John Ortiz, Chris O'Dowd, Aksel Hennie, Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki
Country: USA

Rating: *

Tom Gillespie

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) on IMDb

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...