The “Cloverfield” universe is the next step in cinematic universes where it exists not just on cinema, but on the world wide web, as well. Sprung from the spontaneity that fans adore, “The Cloverfield Paradox” is the next wave in the story of “Cloverfield” and tackles another corner of the mythos that fans just might appreciate. In 2008 when fans spotted something falling in to the Atlantic ocean which spawns the emergence of the giant beast Clovie, many assumed it was from an experiment that went awry from the evil organization Tagruato, the enigmatic company that’s been running the viral sites. With “The Cloverfield Paradox” we finally get an explanation as to what occurred, and so much more.
“The Cloverfield Paradox” is the journey of a group of space bound scientists in their efforts to construct a particle that could bring sustainable and free energy to the world. But when their latest experiment goes very wrong, they realize that they’ve been thrown in to space and can’t find Earth. Meanwhile back on our planet, we feel the effects of botched experiment in ways we never thought possible. “The Cloverfield Paradox” is first and foremost about parallel dimensions and alternate universes, exploring the catastrophic implications behind combining them. What would happen if an experiment didn’t just introduce us to an alternate version of ourselves, but brought us together with our personas battling for supremacy?
“The Cloverfield Paradox” is successfully engaging and compelling with excellent ideas about wormholes and time loops that tries to give a purpose to “Cloverfield” without just leaving the experiment as some kind of cheap plot device. As the saying goes “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” and this road veers straight in to pure and utter madness and chaos that amounts to some memorable moments of science fiction horror. From worms, to wires, to a clever homage to “The Thing,” director Julius Onah and the collective cast more than make up for the fact that the “Cloverfield” connections sometimes feel pasted on.
Everything from the Earth scenes to the prologue feel kind of like after thoughts brought in at the last minute. I spent a lot of time wishing that the back drop had more tonal balance with the principal premise. That said people like Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, and Ziyi Zhang keep “The Cloverfield Paradox” afloat as a truly engaging, science fiction film that lends more identity to the presence the Tagruato corporation in the viral extended universe.