The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Directed by Julius Onah

Written by Oren Uziel

Run Time: 102 minutes


This is Grumpy McFaultfinder, back for another swipe at Netflix, because good grief they are putting out some crappy sci-fi lately. First Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, and now The Cloverfield Paradox. (Their series Mindhunter, however, is brilliant. Highly recommended! – Ditto the animated Voltron reboot.) Readers of this site will remember that the original Cloverfield set my teeth on edge with it’s headache inducing “found footage” camerawork and annoying cast of nobodies. (Oh goody, an entire movie made up of running, screaming, and pointless dialogue!) Well, I was going to give this one a miss, but there it was, up on my streaming feed. All I had to do was touch a button, and the thing would start. Satan whispered in my ear, “Go ahead Grumpy, push the button. It couldn’t hurt that much, right?”

He was sort of right. But only because I started jumping ahead through the movie in two to three minute increments. Time travel! I did that because the first scene was a long, oh so earnest look at the strains a marriage suffers when one partner is an astronaut, and I have suffered through enough soap operas masquerading as sci-fi adventures to last a lifetime, thank you. All I wanted to know was, did it have any sweet giant monster action? Which means I skipped through the entire movie. And here’s my totally unfair and completely unearned evaluation of The Cloverfield Paradox:

Shut up
Wait, is that? – No
Shut up
Oh for crying out loud
Don’t care

Finally, FINALLY, the very last shot of the movie shows a giant and unexplained Cloverfield monster roaring at some clouds. And…..roll the End Credits. Blah.

OK, so this movie is billed as “explaining” the monster’s appearance in the original film. A movie which was perversely proud of itself for explaining nothing. While I wasn’t about to actually watch the movie I had just fast-forwarded through, the Fan Boy/Chump inside of me did want to hear the explanation. So I was lucky to find an erstwhile Youtuber named Screencrush who was happy to oblige. This nice and very easily entertained young man went through all three Cloverfield movies to explain the “connections” between them. (Short answer – none, but it will still blow your mind dude!). How about an explanation about where the monster came from? Breathless fan-boy speculation aside, none. But Screencrush does give us 12 information packed minutes of video that detail a swirling maelstrom of “Easter Eggs,” viral marketing gimmicks, and obsessive J.J. Abrams self-references. Apparently he referenced Lost in Cloverfield, Cloverfield in Star Trek, and his father in everything, including Star Wars. Like, wow.

Despite the utter lack of connection between the stories in the three movies, we are assured that there is a kind of “thematic” connection between the movies themselves. As one fan site puts it, “The Cloverfield Paradox, both exists in a world outside of what came before it while tying directly into it.” The technical term for such a phenomenon, meaning when things that have no connection are still “tied to” each other is “paradox,” by the way. What’s behind this paradox? I mean, beside the fact that each movie has “Cloverfield” in the title? Why, three separate yet thematically parallel realities of course! Yes! A particle accelerator in the space station featured in The Cloverfield Paradox bridges (or creates?) the three separate realities of Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and The Cloverfield Paradox. Which means that, paradoxically, The Cloverfield Paradox needed a particle accelerator to rip a hole in the fabric of space-time in order to create a paradoxical alternate reality connection – with itself! OMG!

That’s when Grumpy McFaultfinder lost consciousness, only to wake up and discover it had all been a dream. A dream that had given him a brilliant idea on how to launch a profitable sci-fi franchise, one requiring no storytelling skill what-so-ever! Sweating with excitement, he sat down to his keyboard.
And….roll the End Credits!

Here it is folks, the pay-off from The Cloverfield Paradox. Now you don’t have to watch the movie. You’re welcome.

Sean Ledden

A.K.A. Grumpy McFaultfinder

Feb 2018

(Ed: Thank you! Grumpy!)

3 comments to The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

  • Believe it or not, this one is finally out on Norsk Netflix…will be trying to check it out this weekend…I’m looking forward to it, I think.

  • Guts3d

    Ugh! I have sat through a plethora of self-serving Sci-Fi flicks that were looooong on talk and short on actual action. Or plot. Or excitement. And I doubt that you will find anyone who dislikes “found” footage as much as I. I thank you, Mr. Grumpy McFaultfinder, for warning me about this stinkburger, and hope to repay you in the future! Nice screencap, by the way!

  • Sean

    You’re very welcome! And glad to hear you hate “found footage” as much as I do. And G*ddammit, if a movie promises to explain a giant monster attack, then it had better well CONTAIN a giant monster attack! (I couldn’t be less interested in freaked out astronauts aboard a space station that has weird, random problems. With apologies.)

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