Cloverfield Paradox (2018) Movie Review and Ending Explained


The Review (Spoiler Free)

The Cloverfield Paradox, released in 2018, is a film that attempted to weave together the disparate threads of its predecessors in the Cloverfield franchise. Directed by Julius Onah and produced by J.J. Abrams, the movie promised to offer a thrilling sci-fi experience with a touch of mystery. The film follows the story of a group of astronauts aboard a space station who, after a scientific experiment goes awry, find themselves isolated with the Earth vanished and a mysterious space shuttle appearing.

The movie boasts a diverse and talented cast, including Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, and Daniel Brühl, who deliver commendable performances despite the script’s limitations. Mbatha-Raw, in particular, stands out with her portrayal of Hamilton, a scientist wrestling with personal loss while facing the unimaginable reality of a missing Earth.

The Cloverfield Paradox aimed to be a bold step in storytelling, with its surprise release on Netflix immediately after the Super Bowl, capturing the attention of millions. This marketing strategy was indeed a masterstroke, generating buzz and immediate viewership. However, the film itself did not live up to the hype it created. Critics and audiences alike found the movie to be a muddled mix of genres, with a storyline that raised more questions than it answered. The attempt to connect the narrative to the Cloverfield universe felt forced and left many viewers unsatisfied.

The film’s visual effects and sound design are commendable, creating an immersive atmosphere that is both claustrophobic and expansive, reflecting the paradoxical nature of the space station’s predicament. However, the plot’s execution and the science fiction elements were criticized for their lack of coherence and plausibility. The editing and direction were also points of contention, often described as disjointed and failing to maintain the suspense and intrigue that the genre demands.

Spoiler Ending (Spoiler Warning)

The story is pretty simple.  Synopsis of the movie is explained in first few minuets of the movie. Basically, it explains Cloverfield universe by multi-dimension and alternate universe.

In the near future, there is an energy crisis on Earth. Only hope for the survival of the earth is particle accelerator to generate unlimited energy to fuel the earth.  But there is risk.  If something goes wrong it can open up wormhole to other dimension that will cause disruption in the current universe. But they are desperate. Knowing the risk, they go ahead with the test.

Obviously, something goes wrong and they end up opening wormhole to other dimensions which caused monster to come out from other dimension.  This gateway also effects different time period. It can effects earth in the past and the future. This is how they explains the Cloverfield universe.

First movie, Cloverfield is found-footage film occurred in some time in 2008.  A giant monster came out of nowhere and started to destroy New York City.  The movie doesn’t really explain anything about the monster and where it came from.

The second movie, 10 Cloverfield Lane is psychological thriller.  At the end of the movie, we see alien has invaded the earth.  Again, we don’t know much about the alien.  Only thing we know is that it has invade the all parts of the earth. 10 Cloverfield Lane is also occurred in current time period.

In Cloverfield Paradox, the space station Shepherd find themselves in different dimension in alternate earth. Afterwards, many strange things are happening in the ship.  The movie doesn’t really explain why these strange things are happening to the crew.  But what I got from the movie is basically that the alternate universe is sending a message to the crew that they don’t belong there. All the crew members die at the end, except for two. At the end, the surviving crew returned to earth with a giant monster which looks much bigger and aggressive then one from first Cloverfield movie roaming the earth.

Only way to really ties all Cloverfield movies together is the fact that they are all occurring in different universe.  The space station Shepherd is responsible for opening a wormhole which brought different monsters and aliens from other dimensions and universe. I know. This explanation is far fetch, but the film makers weren’t thinking it through when they made each film.

In the Nutshell

The Cloverfield Paradox is a film that had the potential to be a groundbreaking piece of science fiction but fell short in its execution. The innovative release strategy and the strong performances by the cast could not compensate for the confusing plot and the failure to satisfyingly tie into the Cloverfield series. It serves as a lesson in the importance of cohesive storytelling and the risks of prioritizing marketing gimmicks over narrative substance. For those interested in exploring the Cloverfield universe, the film is available for streaming. I give 4 out of 5 stars.

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Genre: Sci-Fi

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