Review: “The Cloverfield Paradox” is a lackluster sequel

Purely on its own merits, “The Cloverfield Paradox” is a space, science fiction, horror in the vein of “Alien” or especially “Event Horizon” and “Sunshine.” An experiment goes wrong and strands a crew of scientists and engineers on a space station which has lost contact with Earth. Also due to the failed experiment, strange, seemingly supernatural, occurrences begin taking place which threaten their survival as well as that of the Earth the experiment was meant to save.

For all the sci-fi horror, action, and drama “The Cloverfield Paradox” touts, which it does have some impressive visuals, I found myself apathetic throughout the majority of the film. Contrivances occur to set crew members against each other, the Russian astronaut suspects the German scientist might have sabotaged the experiment. The protagonist Hamilton, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, misses her husband back on Earth, and without spoiling the film, she attempts to return to a time and place where her children are still alive.

Maybe it’s just me, but every time I see a movie whose characters are meant to be genius scientists, engineers or pilots who then squabble over petty feuds and power dynamics, it takes me out of the film. I think, “Why would they send this clearly unstable person into space as humanity’s last hope?” But, I suppose seeing a group of professionals responding to a crisis responsibly might not make for the most entertaining film.

As just the film itself, it is a middling sci-fi horror movie. If you thought the trailers looked cool, you’ll probably like the movie.

 

ltmtz4@mail.umkc.edu

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