After Cloverfield (2008) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), The Cloverfield Paradox now arrives, attempting to continue the franchise produced by J.J. Abrams. The first two films gained attention by creating suspense and mystery about monsters and aliens who might, in less successful scenarios, seem banal or silly.
However, these two first lengths can give seriousness to the story for two reasons. First, we are quickly thrown into the middle of the fantastic plot. It is not explained how or why the monsters started attacking the city. This just happens. While the first focuses on the moment the monsters appear, the second places the viewer already in the middle of this plot, but both keep the mystery behind the existence of these evil entities.
The second reason that makes the first two successful productions is the way the monsters appear gradually. With each scene, a little more is revealed about what is really happening in the city, and we unravel the strange event together with the characters. In addition, the films still follow a clear rule: the villains are the monsters (and humans who do not control their fear).
The Cloverfield Paradox changes the rules that gave the name to the franchise. The story begins before the monsters appear, with a not very interesting intention of explaining how the fantastic beings appeared. Thus, with the strategy of suspense used in the first two lengths, supernatural events seem a little more silly and difficult to believe. The attempt to explain such an extraordinary appearance has the opposite effect than expected: we believe less in the plot.
The latest film in the franchise also does not decide what kind of fantastic villain is present in history, mixing several obstacles that do not give unity to production. Using the excuse of a “paradox” in the space-time dimension, characters are swallowed up by walls, have their interiors corroded by intergalactic insects, hunted by humans of another dimension and – perhaps most unbelievably – their arms decapitated by writing messages that can , or not, save them. The Cloverfield Paradox also relies on the already beaten plot that shows people in space going crazy.
And maybe this is the biggest problem of his plot. Long-lost characters in space have been extensively explored in the movies, even after Barry Levinson’s 1998 spherical critique of Sphere, which also shows members of a space crew turning to each other because of their mental state .
Thus, The Cloverfield Paradox does not have the same suspense and mystery as the first. This is not to say that there are no good times. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays the character Hamilton, acts very well and creates very exciting moments. The ending of the film is interesting and shows a scene reminiscent of the early Cloverfield series. However, these qualities can easily be lost amid much explanation and absence of a specific villain.
(This article original language is portuguese. This translation was made with Google Translate)