Imagine the surprise that went through the world of film when it was announced during Super Bowl LII that the third installment of the Cloverfield franchise would make its debut on Netflix after the game. Many people who weren’t interested in the game wanted it to be over so they could watch it. I was one of them. Side note about the game if you don’t follow American Football, my Philadelphia Eagles won 41-33. Fly Eagles Fly! Anyway, I’m a huge fan of the 2008 original and 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, which you can read my review of that film. How does this surprise installment fit?
Unfortunately, The Cloverfield Paradox is quite inferior to its predecessors. It’s a shame because the film has an idea that it starts to explore, but it never quite holds onto to explore that premise and in the process become a standard, run of the mill, science fiction horror film that we’ve seen many times before. One reason I think that this film doesn’t work for me is because in the prior films there was a good marriage between the concept presented (monster movie, claustrophobic thriller) and the characters that gave the viewer someone to connect with. If it’s the crew of friends trying to escape New York or Mary Elizabeth Winestead’s Michelle trying escape from John Goodman’s psychotic Howard, we had something to connect to. In Paradox, you really don’t get anything like that from the main crew of this ship. They’re just there and because the film also abandoned its concept you end up abandoning any investment in their story as well.
I can understand why The Cloverfield Paradox was sent to Netflix. It’s a disappointingly average entry into a franchise that I’ve grown to look forward to. The thing is, I could accept the lack of developed characters if they hell true to exploring the concept further, or vice versa. Sadly, it’s a jack and master of no trades.
Final Rating. 2/4