So since first finding out about Cloverfield Paradox being on Netflix all on five hours ago, I've been jittery with excitement. If you read the celebration piece I did on the tenth anniversary of the original you know that the series has developed a special place in my heart. That is why I am so overjoyed to not only find out it would be available mere hours after the trailers premiere but that I am now here writing this review moments after watching it in all it's glory.
You'll excuse any over gushing as I am still on my Cloverfield high. Since this review is coming out so soon after it's release I will do you the kindness of leaving any spoilers out (less the one Netflix pulled with the snapshot from the film).
Paradox is incredible. There, I said it. It hearkens back memories of films like Paul W. S. Anderson's Event Horizon, Danny Boyle's Sunshine and to a certain extent the Barry Levinson's Sphere. It contains all the magic of extreme isolation with suspense at the hand of a mysterious outsider who's choices are as suspect as the isolation itself. Unlike those films Paradox mixes in corresponding events on Earth which parallel the fear happening on board the space/ocean vessel where our heroes are trapped.
As far as the franchise goes, this installment seems to be the one that is most closely related to the original Cloverfield. One could look at this film and believe that it's the direct cause of the events that took place in New York. Not only is this movie from the same family but also the same genus as well. Though I do like 10 Cloverfield Lane, Paradox is what I was hoping it would have been.
The cast is comprised of stars like Miss Sloane's Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Selma's David Oyelowo, Captain America: Civil War's sad dad Daniel Brühl and, my personal favorite, IT Crowd's Chris O'Dowd. O'Dowd of course steals the show whenever he is on screen with his very understated comedic relief and Mbatha-Raw does an amazing job leading the film with so much intensity and compassion your heart aches for her.
The film is the feature length directorial debut of Julius Onah who, I don't think I am to bold to declare, has a very bright future ahead of him. What better film than this for him to wet his feet with? A huge experiment in film distribution that, based on social media reaction, is an absolute hit and we have not the last of. A move so bold and that could have potentially backfired in the faces of Netflix and JJ Abrams. Imagine if they had pulled a stunt like this with a movie like Bright? My God...
My only criticism of this and the entire Cloverfield franchise is that it leaves you wanting a direct sequel. I promised to be spoiler free and I will uphold my end of the deal here but when the movie ends, your mouth will be agape. You will more than likely do as I did and rewind the last 30 seconds to watch it again in all it's glory only to see the end credits roll while acknowledging to yourself that you will never get an answer for what the hell you just laid eyes on. Then rewind it again.
Do yourself a favor and watch the movie now. Even if you already have. I know I will but for now, sleep (it's past midnight and I have work in the morning).