Director: Julius Onah
Writer: Oren Uziel and Doug Jung
Producer: J.J. Abrams/Bad Robot Productions
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, John Ortiz, David Oyelowo, and Zhang Ziyi.
Available on Netflix
I don’t football. Like, really, really don’t football. So, Super Bowl Sunday is a really dull day in my world. Especially so because it was rainy and dreary, and my extended Classic Doctor Who binge is slogging through some really tough First Doctor territory (i.e. do we really need 40 something installments to one story arc?)
Imagine my delight when Teh Twitters started to buzz about Netflix dropping a new Cloverfield flick. I threw myself into the mad rush to stream that bad boy.
I had my reservations. I’m still a little bitter about Bright, after all. I kind of expected another dull tale that would leave me pretty pissed off at the end.
The first Cloverfield was a really great jaunt into the world of found footage horror stories. I’m pretty forgiving of horror movies in general because I’m an easy scare. I admit it. And as someone who still clearly remembers those childhood nightmares featuring giant Godzilla-like monsters, it gave me a satisfactory case of the heebie jeebies.
10 Cloverfield Lane was less pleasing for me, unless you count being weirded out by a menacing Dan Conner. Pretty forgettable, in my eyes.
As for the Cloverfield universe in general, to be honest, I don’t have a fucking clue what’s going on here to connect these films, save for the final seconds of The Cloverfield Paradox. If you’re looking for some kind of mind blowing continuity reveal to happen in this third installment, you’re probably going to have a bad time.
Generally, the story is a righteous hot mess, but I feel the need to pull in a Bright comparison here, because in this instance, I kind of don’t care. The ensemble casting was on point and I was interested in what was going to happen to this motley crew. There was a decent assortment of nationalities to demonstrate a world-coming-together-to-save-ourselves theme-there’s a loose explanation of a world energy crisis and that resources on Terra Firma are about to run dry. Soooo, naturally, we need what amounts to a Higgs Boson machine in space, because, kids, some hardcore wibbly wobbly timey wimey shit starts to happen. In all honesty, the whole story around that is laughable at best, but the cheese-factor is enjoyable enough.
Chris O’Dowd is the biggest reason I forgive this film’s numerous sins. His deadpan delivery as the comic relief is pure joy and WHAT UP!!!! IRISH IN SPACE, YO!!! Slàinte!!
The wibbly wobbly stuff is handled rather clumsily. There was no wow factor when you figured out how Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character fit into the world. Worlds. Sorry. Wibbly wobbly shit, after all. But I did feel for her even if I wasn’t completely sure why. But there were some fun surprises mixed in there, and enough tension to tweak my easy-scare ways.
Overall, The Cloverfield Paradox was a pretty wobbly effort, but it had its moments. And those moments were pretty damn entertaining. It could have been better, but it could have been a lot worse. I’m still willing to keep an eye out for a fourth installment to see if I can finally figure out what the fuck the whole Cloverfield thing is all about anyway….
My rating for this movie is: That Arm is More Compelling Than All of Wil Smith’s Performance in Bright
–Primary Bitch Has Spoken