'The Cloverfield Paradox' doesn't live up to short-lived hype

"The Cloverfield Paradox

The streaming service debuted a trailer for "The Cloverfield Paradox" during Super Bowl 52.

The Cloverfield Paradox is being hailed as the movie equivalent of Beyoncé's "Lemonade", a comparison that's technically accurate while also kind of misleading.

"In the near future, a group of worldwide astronauts on a space station are working to solve a massive energy crisis on Earth", Netflix describes their latest acquired film. When they fire up their impressive piece of equipment, the vessel is transported to a different dimension, with one of the characters pointing out that this was an anticipated drawback to the power of their earth-saving device. They're trying to ideal a system for unlimited energy with the world in crisis down below (a Cold War-style standoff with the Russians is talked about a lot).

That's not to say that the film, loosely spun out of the universe "Cloverfield" introduced a decade ago, is a total disaster.

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Then the big bomb dropped, the movie would be streaming on Netflix. In fact, it explains why everything that has happened so far is taking place.

There's a reason you've probably never heard of the Sega Saturn, and there's a reason why "The Cloverfield Paradox" could easily disappear from people's memories forever. Sunday's trailer promised viewers would "find out why" the monsters attacked.

The entire third act is underwhelming and just kinda dumb when you get down to it, and most of the performers are wasted under the utter plainness of their characters.

The Los Angeles Times' Justin Chang questions if there's enough Cloverfield connective tissue for franchise fans to dig into: "Die-hard Cloverfield conspiracy theorists can distract themselves by figuring out this story's relationship with the other two films, even if the connections feel vague and scattershot at best". Here's hoping that the next Cloverfield movie (which is reportedly already done filming) gets the series back on track.

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This leads to an unintentionally hilarious final shot where the Cloverfield monster just comes out of nowhere. Most importantly though, we learn that all these stories may not even be happening chronologically, but on alternate Earths thanks to these interdimensional transgressions, thus bringing to light the existence of a Cloverfield multiverse. In a better movie, it would have been nice to see them get off the ground. This is lower than the audience scores of 68 percent and 79 percent for Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane respectively. That idea is a fascinating setup, specifically for how it affects Volkov (Aksel Hennie) and for how it plays into the unexpected appearance of a new crew member midway through the film. Throw in the skyrocketing popularity of MoviePass-which offers consumers an fantastic deal on movie tickets, so long as they're willing to ignore the company's shady tactics and sketchy intentions-and you've got an industry, and an art form, that's basically having a meltdown.

The jury is still out on the great Cloverfield experiment. It doesn't matter much. There are moments of that fan service I'll happily admit to enjoying, but they don't make up for the film's missteps.

Critics seem to agree that Cloverfield Paradox's weakest points are its characters and its story, with some calling it an very bad mess all around.

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