Monday, 5 February 2018

Film Review: "The Cloverfield Paradox" (2018).

"The future unleashed every thing." This is thanks to The Cloverfield Paradox. This science fiction horror film directed by Julius Onah, written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung, and produced by J. J. Abramss. It is the third installment in the Cloverfield franchise, following Cloverfield (2008) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016). Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.

In 2012, it was first announced that Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot Productions had acquired a spec script entitled God Particle by Oren Uziel, and to be directed by Julius Onah. The pick-up occurred around the same time that Paramount and Bad Robot bought the rights to The Celler, which ultimately became 10 Cloverfield Lane. When it was acquired, Abrams said the script had "the DNA" that made it a potential film in the Cloverfield universe. In March 2015, it was initially planned as part of Paramount’s low-budget InSurge distribution label, but was ultimately expanded as a Paramount-distributed film. In February 2016, the yet-named Cloverfield film was set for a planned February 2017 release date. However, the film faced several delays afterwards throughout production. By May, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, Chris O’Dowd, Zhang Ziyi, John Ortiz, and Aksel Hennie were announced as members of the cast. With a budget of $45 million, filming began in June and wrapped in September. The film was shot in Los Angeles, under the titles of God Particle and Clean Pass. During this time, Uziel was required to rewrite and shoot additional scenes to help the film connect to the Cloverfield universe, and due to negative test audience results. On February 4 2018, a surprise trailer aired during Super Bowl LII, revealing its title, on the same night it was to be released only a few hours after. Though specific details of Netflix's acquisition of distribution rights were not known, industry analysts believe Netflix's involvement helped to make an otherwise lackluster film profitable for Paramount, whereas a more traditional theatrical release would have ended in a loss.

The film stars Brühl, Debicki, Hennie, Mbatha-Raw, O'Dowd, Ortiz, Oyelowo, and Zhang. The cast gave performances that proved that they were at the top of their game, despite lacking solid characterizations. Mbatha-Raw was the only cast member given any true characterization, whilst others appeared as either archetypes or plot devices.

The Cloverfield Paradox does what it needs to do: make you sit and squirm and want very badly to know. It has the appeal of the suspense and science fiction pictures of the 1950s. There are a number of intense sequences all heightened by actors at the top of their game. It’s a decent film that shows what you can do with confident tension, editing, and a handful of shocking moments. Despite because Cloverfield being invoked in the title, and its unique marketing and publicity, it’s ultimately a dumb move and a lot of people expected a certain type of follow-up.

Simon says The Cloverfield Paradox receives:

Also, see my review for 10 Cloverfield Lane.

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