Stereotypically Awful: The Netflix Original That Never Should Have Been

The+awfully+stereotypical+cast+of+%E2%80%9CThe+Cloverfield+Paradox%E2%80%9D+stares+vividly+across+the+4th+Wall+into+the%0Aviewers%2C+speculating+on+why+they+would+be+watching+such+a+bad+movie.%0ACredit+to+Flickr

Darius Rahmanian

The awfully stereotypical cast of “The Cloverfield Paradox” stares vividly across the 4th Wall into the viewers, speculating on why they would be watching such a bad movie. Credit to Flickr

Darius Rahmanian, Copy Editor

2008’s “Cloverfield” was a marvel to behold; shot in the “found footage” format, it chronicled a mysterious monster’s assault upon New York City. Its mysterious nature and cult appeal made it into an internet phenomenon. Thousands of posts regarding its mystery beast and the hidden lore sparked discussion. However, the mystery would seemingly stay unsolved. 2016’s “10 Cloverfield Lane” had the moniker of the previous title but once again mysteriously fit into a chronology that did not make sense. So during Super Bowl LII, when “The Cloverfield Paradox” was announced to be ready to watch after the game, the intrigue was reaching new heights.

However, the movie itself does not have the holding of a cult status nor the inventive film making of the original. The story has massive potential in the beginning, bringing into perspective the events that had afflicted the Cloverfield world. The titular “Cloverfield Paradox” displays the potential origin of where the monster may have come from and sets up the potential conflict for the movie. Said Paradox includes the fact that the smashing of all the particles inside of the Shepherd will fuse dimensions together and spawn potentially dangerous monsters at the expense of infinite energy.

The premise is fundamentally exceptional and provides a lot more plot to work with than the previous movies. However, this Netflix Original fails to deliver on many aspects. From the eye-rolling climax to the generic character interactions, “The Cloverfield Paradox” feels like a JJ Abrams reboot without JJ Abrams. The foundation is there and the setup is great, yet the movie misses so many fundamental plot points and areas to grow that it just comes off stale and uninspired.

The main character, Hamilton, is chosen to go aboard the Shepherd as a communications director with some considerable family baggage. Aboard the Shepherd, Hamilton literally meets stereotypes of an Irishman, an American, a Russian, a German, a Brazilian, and a Chinese woman, each one touting the most one dimensional personalities. From now on, they will be referenced not as characters but by their stereotype due to how little the director and screenwriter care for the film. Each interaction leads like James Cameron’s “Aliens” but plays out like a third grader wrote it, while seemingly suspending everyone’s disbelief at all of the irrational conversation.

Eventually, the Shepherd fires up its reactor and the plot begins. The Shepherd seemingly misfires and some parts of the station are set on fire. The plot tries to initially imitate an “Interstellar” vibe, but the constant jiving jokes and poorly-written interactions constantly snap the viewer out of the suspense of the scene. The American of course takes charge with the “blah, blah” bravado while the Russian and German fight, and the Chinese woman just sits there and plays no role other than the “technician,” while the Brazilian stays calm and also does nothing.

Eventually, the Russian starts getting minor pains and figures out that the “MacGuffin” is missing (of course). The Irishman’s worms also go missing and eventually the two anomalies converge quite literally into each other in the most predictable and shabby way possible. The Russian dies, leaving the crew mortified but literally once again painfully indifferent. The Irishman even cracks a couple jokes at the recently deceased, but the frivolous downtime doesn’t last long as echoing screams can be heard throughout the halls.

Could this be a monster not alluded to? Could this be the first effect of the paradox? In one of the first good scenes of the movie, the crew remove the wall to find another human stuck within the wiring. After recovering her alive and healing her, she conveys to Hamilton that this is all the German’s fault. What happens next continues to defy the logic of a group of supposed scientists and educated people. Instead of thinking things through, the American just shoves the German into a holding cell.

Suddenly, the Irishman’s arm gets stuck in the wall and is sucked in until it is painlessly chopped off (guess the vfx budget or script didn’t call for actual suspense). The crew assemble once again to find the arm crawling on its own; they contain it and learn that it is seemingly sentient.

With all fingers (literally) pointing towards the dead Russian, the Brazilian performs his autopsy, which reveals that the worms had been transported inside him along with the MacGuffin device. At this point in the movie, the Earth is also undergoing the events of the first Cloverfield movie, with Hamilton’s husband experiencing it firsthand with some sloppily-added-in B Plot. For no reason whatsoever, they add in this child who has no plot significance and somehow survived the entire collapsing of a hospital. So much belief has been suspended at this point, the movie turns in on itself and creates even more bogus narrative.

Meanwhile, the “wall girl” reveals that the firing of “Earth-1’s” Shepherd directly affected her “Earth-2” and the two universes are melding together on Earth-1’s Shepherd. With the macguffin re-inserted, the crew find Earth-2 and the viewer is now subject to Hamilton’s backstory. Unfortunately, almost one hour into the movie the viewer could care less about something that should have been overtly established in the first 30 minutes, here it comes off as a failed attempt to nuance the character.

With new knowledge that Earth-2’s Hamilton stayed on Earth-2 instead of joining the Shepherd, Earth-1 Hamilton begins making the most insane and plot defying decisions. She wants to stay in an alternate universe to meet her alternate kids while alternate her is still alive, a choice no character in modern media makes in a sane and scientific state. It’s just mind boggling how jumbled the plot and story are and how the characters are so stereotypically bad.

Suddenly, the Chinese woman dies for absolutely no reason except to further the plot. The station’s lower half is blown to bits and a poorly-shot adventure scene ensues, also killing off the American in such a way that its laughably cliche. Of course, “wall girl” is bad and the awful climax ensues with Hamilton defeating her leads to such a cliche and all-in-one package ending it hurts. Of course when they return to Earth-1, the monsters are there, and ultimately leaves the viewer confused and extremely dissatisfied.

There are no more reasons to watch “The Cloverfield Paradox” other than if you are extremely bored or want a somewhat engaging snore fest. “The Cloverfield Paradox” is a staggering 3/10 that delivers nothing but a mish-mash of other movie concepts that are ultimately far more engaging than this bore.