By Frank Portillo
While not as strong as the first two installments of the franchise, “The Cloverfield Paradox” is a fun science fiction ride that loosely ties into the events of its predecessors.
The fact that the movie isn’t as strong as the previous two entries doesn’t speak to its quality as a whole because it’s enjoyable.
“The Cloverfield Paradox” is set in 2028 as Earth’s energy resources are dwindling.
A group of scientists from different countries aim to fix the issue using a particle accelerator to create a source of unlimited energy in outer space.
After an accident with the accelerator, the scientists are shocked to discover that Earth has seemingly vanished.
Faced with the pressure of floating out in space, tension begins to mount as the scientists try to piece together what has happened to Earth.
As “10 Cloverfield Lane” used the franchise name for the setting in the movie, “Paradox” does the same thing in the form of the scientists’ vessel.
All of the actors in the movie deliver great performances.
Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw leads the cast as Hamilton, whose circumstances in life left her feeling obligated to come up with a solution to the energy crisis.
Her performance in the film is powerful as the character’s tragedy comes to light and is explored further.
Also in the film is the always fantastic Daniel Bruhl as German scientist Schmidt.
David Oleyowo plays the American captain Kiel, funny man Chris O’Dowd stars as Mundy and Elizabeth Debicki plays a mysterious crew member, who none of the aforementioned characters know.
The film cuts between the events transpiring in space and also follows Hamilton’s love interest Michael (Roger Davies) down on Earth.
His character is left dealing with a sudden catastrophic event that is left a mystery until the final seconds of the film.
The mystery sort of works, but feels forced given the late integration of the “Cloverfield” material.
Since the announcement of the new cinematic universe, Paramount has been purchasing scripts unrelated to the monster movie and tweaking them so that they have some sort of tie-in.
This has worked both for and against the franchise as it has evolved into something fans would never had expected, but at the same time fails to be a proper sequel, which will probably never happen at this point.
The biggest disappointment of the film is how loose it ties into the events of the previous films, considering its marketing in this year’s Super Bowl ad, which heavily featured footage from the first.
Fans of the “Cloverfield” franchise have waited for a proper sequel to the first movie since its release in 2008.
What has been interesting is watching the franchise’s evolution.
What started as one amazing monster film has suddenly turned into a diverse cinematic universe with each installment being a different genre.
The trailer also broke the news that the long awaited film would be available on Netflix immediately following the big game, leaving fans of the franchise shocked.
While it was reported a couple of days prior that this might be the case, this deal with Netflix is ground-breaking.
According to sources who spoke with the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix paid at least $50 million for the rights of the film.
What makes the franchise so fun is the secrecy surrounding the projects and how the film was released without any prior marketing besides its clever use of what is called the alternate reality game.
The ARG for the Cloverfield universe uses websites and other forms of multimedia to add to the experience leading up to the different films.
The film is full of easter eggs for the hard-core fans of the films. The fictional company that was responsible for the awakening of the monster in the first film, Tagruato, has some stake in the mission given the fact that their name is on the ship.
Slusho! is another fictional company that makes an appearance in the form of a bobble head on the ship.
Hard-core fans will recognize this company as the same one that Rob, the protagonist from the first film, accepts a job offer from before the monster attacks and disrupts his going-away party.
“The Cloverfield Station” is rated TV-MA and is available for streaming on Netflix.