As I mentioned in the previous article, space is unknown and unfriendly. Yet that assumption only takes into account what we currently know and what is currently true (admittedly at the heart of the problem). Ignoring the countless possibilities of countless what-if scenarios that lie in the many hypothetical realities that lie beyond our own. While this concept has been explored in science fiction before, its arrival in a feature film is worth reconsidering when contemplating the mysteries of The Cloverfield Paradox.
In the near future of 2028, the energy crisis has hit critical peaks. A team of international scientists is stationed aboard The Cloverfield, high above the earth, on a mission to test the cutting edge of physics to help. But by venturing forth with their experiments they open the doors of countless dimensions and bring out not only what could have been, but what should never be.
The film’s role is mainly as a framing device for the successful Cloverfield Franchise. A franchise that is admirable in its attempts to deliver other projects that might not secure as much funding as is necessary. Without it, films such as 10 Cloverfield Lane (initially pitched as The Cellar) would have never seen the light of day. This is no guarantee that these future films will be of the same quality as 10 Cloverfield lane, but because of the possibilities of a future cinematic universe, that is a lot more bankable, in theory, more creative risks will be taken, and this is something that is desperately called for. This ingenuity extends far beyond the story, as its release just hours after the announcement trailer is an inspired feat of marketing and its success could change the entire anticipation and wait cycle for future films to come.
Outside of the film’s place as a prequel, there’s a strong reason why this review is a three-parter, From the outset there’s a substantial amount of similarities between Event Horizon and The Cloverfield Paradox. The cast is similar in quality for a start. Notably Chris O’Dowd, who ends up providing well-delivered comic relief. Along with other stars, who have had successes in other films and nonetheless still bring a certain freshness to the production. This is a team effort, with a cast who knows how to play up the tensions and mistrust to help sell the grave repercussions of the extraordinary happenings on the ship.
Once again, like in the Event Horizon, the use of C.G.I. to attempt to heighten the drama is noticeable, but it’s the film’s reliance on body horror (like in Event Horizon) that really shines on its own. However, there are key differences between Event Horizon and The Cloverfield Paradox, for instance, there is a rather charming side plot involving getting a young girl to safety that provides a change of pace from the drama happening in space and yet reinforces the idea firmly that this is a Cloverfield film… Giant monsters and all. Those who don’t go in for high-concept science fiction will find these segments a treat to behold. The Cloverfield also has an overall different feel to The Event Horizon, although this is mainly due to watching the events unfold as opposed to picking up the pieces afterwards.
The Cloverfield Paradox is a valid attempt at bringing the concepts of dimension-bending into the 21st century. It’s an imaginative look at a simple, but diverse concept that is taken for its fullest potential. Alongside offering opportunity through the nature of providing a common thread of continuity, allowing a lot of deserving ideas to come to light. Yet on its own, it remains a fun sci-fi flick for all who seek it out. Ultimately, The Cloverfield Paradox feels like an extended episode of another Netflix property Black Mirror, with that, this science crew finally proves you cannot have too much of a good thing.
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