The Cloverfield Paradox is not a very good movie, to put it simply. It’s fine. It’s not anything that’s hard or painful to watch, but it in no way matches up to the previous two entries in the Cloverfield franchise. While the movie did an amazing job of hyping itself up with the amazing marketing idea of a surprise Super Bowl trailer and then dropping the movie itself on Netflix just a few hours later, it didn’t do a great job of making a great movie. As a warning, there will be plot spoilers for The Cloverfield Paradox, so continue at your own risk.
Why is this? Well, for one, the movie really only does a good job of giving 1 character a backstory or allowing us to connect with her at all. From there, we’re not with the rest of the crew long enough to (spoilers) feel sad when some of them eventually meet their end. What is supposed to be emotional points in the story just land on an, “oh no” kind of feeling. It sucks they had to die, but do you really care when you barely got to know anything about them? No, there’s no reason to. Along with the fact that we barely get to know any of the crew, many points in the movie are just nonsensical. Why did Mundy’s arm get sucked into the wall? Why? And then why did it start crawling around on its own? Why did Hamilton feel the need to try to go back down to other earth to warn herself about her children’s’ deaths? Jensen’s already going home, why not just tell her to warn other Hamilton, rather than making a whole dramatic plot point about how she won’t be coming back with everyone else? Why was that thing in Volkov’s stomach? And whatever happened to him? Why set up the tension between so many different characters and their grievances with one another if you’re not going to follow through with one another? The movie sets up tons of different ideas that seem to be very exciting that could go any number of different ways, but in the end, they all fall flat, and almost all of the plotlines that are set up either go nowhere or have a very unsatisfying resolution.
Is The Cloverfield Paradox a terrible movie? No. If you’re a fan of the series, should you watch it? Well, considering there is a sequel set to be released very soon, and it’s free on Netflix and takes up less than two hours of your time, why not? Like I said, it isn’t an awful movie. And while many plot points end in simply put dumb ways, some moments do have a real tension that actually piqued my interest. Is it the worst way you could spend your time? No. Is it the best way to spend your time? Certainly not. Overall, while well-acted, The Cloverfield Paradox is a flat movie that fails to answer any questions set up by its predecessors and is a big disappointment from what we’ve all been expecting.