What makes a Cloverfield movie? I wish it wasn’t this.
I loved the original 2008 Cloverfield movie. I absolutely loved it. Heck, I still love it. I’ve watched it several times over the years, and will probably continue to do so. Sure, there are parts that get old after a few viewings. Climbing around in the leaning buildings come to mind. But some of the images, such as the Statue of Liberty’s head rolling down the street, are amazing. The ending is amazing. The Cloverfield Paradox is amazing, in an entirely different way.
The way The Cloverfield Paradox made it to our screens is a first. Being the third movie in a series where the first two had successful theatrical releases, we were expecting another theatrical release. But that release kept getting pushed back. Then, during the Super Bowl, a short trailer was released, with the announcement that the movie would be free to stream on Netflix that night. I was excited and couldn’t wait to find the time to sit down and watch it.
Well, I watched it. I certainly did. The spoiler free description goes like this. The movie takes place on an international space station, on which the crew of the space station are trying to get a particle accelerator operating to solve the world’s energy crisis. It doesn’t go so well.
Ok, now if you’re still reading this, don’t blame me for any spoilers. Once the accelerator gets started, something breaks and the movie turns into an alternate universe movie. Monsters? No. Not yet. Just some creepy alternate universe storytelling. Correction, they tried to do some creepy alternate universe storytelling. There was a rather enjoyable portion of the movie having to do with an arm.
Honestly, if this was presented as a standalone space movie, I probably would have enjoyed it. I at least wouldn’t have disliked it. The problem with this movie is that it doesn’t make sense as a Cloverfield movie, which really shouldn’t have surprised me.
Eight years after the original movie, 10 Cloverfield Lane was released. Nothing like the original movie, this movie was a tense thriller with John Goodman doing an amazing job as an eerie villain. It came down to the last minutes of the movie, for something sci-fi to occur. That probably would have left me upset, had the movie not been such a good movie on it’s own. In the end, it left me wondering what that movie had to do with the other. It also left me expecting that the next movie would fill in those holes. It did not.
Instead, this movie feels like it has absolutely nothing to do with the other two movies. In fact, what we hear of what’s happening on the planet’s surface, there could be no way this movie had anything to do with the other two movies. Right up until the last few minutes of the movie, where it seems an ending was crammed onto the movie just to attempt to justify the Cloverfield name.
I can completely understand why the decision was made to release the movie on Netflix. I can’t imagine this would have been anything but a disaster at the theater. On Netflix? It’s not a bad way to waste some time. I just wish this wasn’t pegged to the Cloverfield universe.