Hey! Recently I just watched a movie called The Cloverfield Paradox and I wanted to write a review for it!
Some context: I am vaguely familiar with the Cloverfield franchise, I’ve seen the first one once a long time ago and I haven’t seen 10 Cloverfield Lane at all. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of the original movie since I barely remember what the actual movie was about so I’m coming to this relatively fresh.
Summary from IMDb: 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.
The Writing & Directing:
The story was written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung, with Oren Uziel adapting the screenplay. I haven’t seen anything else either of these guys so…I can’t speak to the consistency of their work but…well Oren Uziel wrote the screenplay for 22 Jump Street which I’ve heard good things about so there is that.
Just from watching this movie I think both of them are good at creating an engaging story. From the beginning of the movie, I was very interested in what was going on. The writing kept my attention the entire time and made me ask questions and try to figure out where the story was headed. Pretty good for a movie classified as a Mystery I think.
I also think they did a good job setting up characterization for each character. It’s nothing deep but it’s enough to make each character distinct.
There’s a good balance of tone in this movie as well. The emotions flowed from one to another very well and at no point was I taken from the story by a jarring shift in tone or out of place line.
That takes me to the directing. The director of this movie is Julius Onah. Looking at his IMDb page he’s done a number of shorts I haven’t seen, but I think he handles things in this movie competently. According to IMDb, this movie falls under the genres of Horror, Sci-Fi, and Mystery. Onah handles the horror segments well, with interesting uses of body horror (my personal favorite) and I loved it!
I honestly don’t much about directing in all honesty, but nothing in this movie, from a directing standpoint, made me pause, but nothing stood out either.
Just a really sold job.
The Acting & Characters:
The acting in this movie is great across the board. I don’t think any of these people would be consider “A-lister” but terms like that doesn’t mean much to me, but I recongnize Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle and Beyong the Lights), David Oyelowo (Selma, A United Kingdom, and Star Wars: Rebels), Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Rush Hour 2, and Memoirs of a Geisha) and Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War) and can say that they give great performances.
The rest of the cast is great as well. As I stated above, none of the characters, with the exception of Hamilton (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw), get a lot of depth, but the actors do such a great job and have really believable chemistry.
Our main character Hamilton has to go through an arc of learning how to let go and move on from her past mistakes and Mbatha-Raw’s acting is really top notch. I can’t go into more without going into spoilers or just devolving into praise so please just know that I truly think it’s great!
As stated before, I’m coming in pretty fresh to this movie franchise, but I think The Cloverfield Paradox is a solid movie full of great performances. This Sci-Fi movie isn’t particularly deep on that end, but the horror aspects are equally scary and fun, while I think the mystery is interesting enough to keep you engaged. It’s fun!
Final Score: 6.5/10