The MONSTER SIZED Weakness of The Cloverfield Paradox
I love the Cloverfield franchise as a whole. The first film was an unbelievable achievement in viral hype and establishing a mysterious monster mythology.
When 10 Cloverfield Lane was released, I thought they did a fantastic job defining what this franchise is and the anthology style it would adopt.
Now I’ve seen The Cloverfield Paradox and… Unfortunately… It’s getting a little old…
For those who don’t know, the third film in Bad Robot’s Monster franchise is based on an original screenplay called God Particle. That film was never meant to be a Cloverfield movie. Original author Oren Uziel explains:
“It was written before 10 Cloverfield Lane and the expanded Cloverfield universe even existed as a thing. It was a spec that I wrote probably a year or so after Shimmer Lake, so it definitely existed as its own science-fiction. And then after years of, you know how scripts kind of hang around—people like them but for whatever reason they decided to make it and then suddenly everything fell into place with J.J. [Abrams], Bad Robot, and Paramount. I don’t know exactly when it became a Cloverfield movie, but I suspect in this current market where it’s just harder and harder to market an original movie of any kind, a science-fiction movie in particular, but I think everyone just knew if it fits—and it does—into that Cloverfield world, it should, and it can only help.” (Collider)
I’m okay with molding a script to fit another franchise but besides a few carefully places ‘Slusho’ easter eggs, the film is a lot like 10 Cloverfield Lane. A decent film with about 3-4 seconds of actual Cloverfield monsters.
They got away with it in the sequel. I’m not as excited having seen the third installment.
My issue doesn’t center on the mythology. At least we know (sort of) why the monsters exist on Earth. The Cloverfield Space station was conducting massive experiments to solve an energy crisis. In the process, they open a rift across space and time (very important) revealing alternate dimensions.
So the Cloverfield franchise revolves around a multi-verse and the monsters snuck into our dimension in multiple timelines.
That’s explained in about 5 minutes of exposition. The rest of The Cloverfield Paradox is essentially ‘multi-dimensional’ horror that Event Horizon did better long ago.
My biggest frustration is the appearance of a (presumably) fully grown creature in the film’s final moments. That’s all you get is a glimpse. A simple tease.
The question becomes, how much longer will they stall before delivering another big monster movie WITH monsters in it.
They also had a golden opportunity to have their escape pod fall into the Ocean where the original film left off.
I’m baffled they missed that and found a better way to connect the ending to the other films. It’s exactly why The Cloverfield Paradox felt like they just forced God Particle to become something it wasn’t. At the same time, it’s really just an ‘okay’ space station thriller with a monster cameo.
I’m just not sure that’s enough anymore.