The Cloverfield Paradox – Film Review

Rating : 2 / 5 stars

What’s it about?

The Cloverfield Paradox is a sci-fi film directed by Julius Onah and is the third installment in the Cloverfield franchise.

Earth is suffering an energy crisis, due to which mankind has sent a team of experts up into space where they are about to use a particle accelerator to try and find an alternate means of energy and ultimately save humanity.  As they proceed with their experiments, strange things begin to happen on their space station that will test their resolve in ways they had never imagined.

Do they figure out what’s going on? Do they manage to solve the energy crisis? Do they survive? These are some of the questions that the film tries to tackle.

What’s Good?

Conceptually, the film has a premise that is mildly interesting, albeit derivative of other superior science fiction films. The various sci-fi elements, like the design of the space station or the various techno tools used in the film or the particle accelerator etc are realized well.  Certain portion of the film have been executed well and does manage to create some amount of suspense regarding where the film will go. The action in the film is brief, but is decently executed.

What’s Not?

The film has quite a lot of problems. The first act is filled with a lot of exposition scenes and editing issues that prevents  the viewer from completely investing in the story. There are many instances of strange phenomenon happening in the space station that is not completely explained. Screenplay is not that gripping, as halfway through the film I found my attention meandering away from what was happening onscreen. There are two parallel stories happening, one on the space station and the other on Earth. While the space station story does have an arc, the Earth story seems half baked and goes nowhere. Also, even though this is marketed as being the third part of the Cloverfield series, it is unclear as to where this film fits in the Cloverfield timeline. Finally, this film feels like it has “borrowed” a lot from other superior science fiction films from the past, both in concept and plot twists.

Performances

Performances are uniformly decent. Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the films lead does a good job and carries the film on her shoulders.  Elizabeth Debicki shines in her brief role. Daniel Bruhl, Chris O’Dowd, David Oyelowo and Ziyi Zhang all do a decent job in their limited roles. Rest of the cast are OK.

Final Word

A sub par science fiction film that is only mildly interesting in parts, this one can be skipped unless you are a die hard Cloverfield fan.


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