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MOVIE REVIEW

The Cloverfield Paradox also known as “ Cloverfield Paradoksu,” “O Paradoxo Cloverfield,” “Paradoks Cloverfield,” «Частица Бога»

MPAA Rating: TV-MA (intended for viewing only by adults)

Reviewed by: Francisco Gomez Jr.
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Horror Mystery Sequel
Length:
1 hr. 42 min.
Year of Release:
2018
USA Release:
February 4, 2018 (Netflix)
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Relevant Issues
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The sci-fi fantasy idea of creatures from other dimensions attacking Earth throughout various decades, all as a repercussion of an experiment by an astronaut team aboard the Cloverfield Station in outer-space

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Beings from another dimension do exist; the Bible identifies them as beings created by God to serve Him and mankind. They are called angels. One-third of them rebelled against God and followed Satan. They are called demons and devils.

These wicked supernatural creatures are the enemies of God and all humans and are attempting to destroy what God has created. Their influence will increase on Earth, but they will ultimately lose and will be flung into an inescapable abyss prepared for them by God. This bottomless pit is not part of our universe.

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Featuring: Gugu Mbatha-RawHamilton
David OyelowoKiel
Daniel BrühlSchmidt
Ziyi ZhangTam
Chris O'DowdMundy
John OrtizMonk
Aksel Hennie … Volkov
Elizabeth Debicki … Jensen
Roger Davies … Michael
Clover Nee … Molly
See all »
Director: Julius Onah
Producer: J.J. Abrams
Bryan Burk
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Distributor: Netflix
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Films in this franchise:
Cloverfield (2008)
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

J

ulius Onah directs “The Cloverfield Paradox,” his second feature length film. The movie primarily stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Ava Hamilton), David Oyelowo (Commander Kiel), and Daniel Brühl (Ernst Schmidt). It features Dan Mindel’s cinematography work. The film was scheduled for release in theaters in April 2018, but the first trailer for the film was shown on Super Bowl Sunday, and it was released as a surprise on the Web streaming movie site Netflix.

The year is 2028, and a group of scientists are given the task to find a sustainable solution to the energy crisis. The group believes the solution lies in the Shepard particle accelerator. Something goes awry when testing the accelerator, and the group finds itself in the midst of an alternate dimension. This is the Cloverfield Paradox, a theory that a particle accelerator could result in the smashing or opening of alternate dimensions. The crew and the whole world must face the contingencies that come along with such an event.

This film is the third in the “Cloverfield” franchise—a film series loosely connected through similar themes. It attempted to be an anthology of films… until now. “The Cloverfield Paradox” attempts to connect the previous two films. It is a prequel that takes place in the future.

At the end, fans of the franchise are intended to have a greater understanding about how it all connects, but that is very unlikely. The film’s plot is very messy. I know this franchise fairly well, but by the end I had more questions than answers, not because of brilliant mysterious screenwriting, but because plot elements in the film do not make sense. Furthermore, the film is very diverse, and not in a good way. It lacks identity and tone. It wanted to be sci-fi, horror, action, and mystery, but it ended up being none of them. The film tries to emulate what past sci-fi films have done well, but it is executed in a manner that almost feels like a spoof. This includes its emulation of the “Cloverfield” franchise.

Ironically, this film that intended to piece it all together, feels the most detached. It has serious pacing issues that result in one of the greatest transgressions a film can commit: boredom. Its immense problems are frustrating because it features fantastic performances from Mbatha-Raw, Brühl, and Oyelowo. Mindel, now a veteran in shooting sci-fi films, does his best to add spice to the bland story. The set production is also top notch, but none of these factors manage to distract from the film’s thin cohesiveness. All the materials to build a fantastic ship are there, but a little rowboat is built instead. It capsizes from the weight of its own name.

A highlight in the film is Hamilton’s (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) struggles to be content with her life. She lost her children in a fire that she accidentally caused herself. She longs to be with her family when she discovers they’re alive in the alternate dimension. Her struggles with guilt are the emotional highlight of the movie. In the end, she lets her guilt go, and it motivates her to save Earth.

Christians sometimes struggle with guilt from their past. Satan uses our past to prevent us from effectively serving our God. In times like these, we can remember that our sins have been washed through Jesus.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” —2 Corinthians 5:17

GUILT—How can I be and feel forgiven? Answer

FORGIVEN?—If God forgives me every time I ask, why do I still feel so guilty? Answer

We were made new when we confess our sinfulness, repent and accept God’s gift of salvation. Our past no longer defines us, but our new identity in Christ propels us forward. We should not let our past mistakes hinder us, as God can use us as a blessing for others. Our contentment should not be based on temporary things of this world—work, money, hobbies, and even family. Our joy should be founded upon Christ. It is through Christ that we should find joy in all else. Viewing family as a blessing that must be cherished when we have it.

“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” —Psalms 16:11

We have the blessing of accessing God’s presence in times of hardship. What a joy to know we are never alone!

Content of Concern

The film’s greatest content for concern is its violence. ***MINOR SPOILER*** There is a graphic scene in which a character dies from an explosion of worms. An autopsy is also performed and a brief view of his entrails is shown. ***END SPOILER***

There is no nudity or sexual content, and no alcohol or drugs.

Crude and profane language is less frequent than in some other R equivalent rated movies—“f*ck” (10), “sh*t” (8), “h*ll” (2), “d*mn” (3).

“The Cloverfield Paradox” attempts to glue the series together, but ends up becoming undone itself. While there are good performances from the cast, and good work by Mindel, it cannot distract from the film’s directional and storytelling pitfalls. It is often less offensive than other mature movies, yet, in my opinion, your time is better served elsewhere.

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Profane language: Mild
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Heavy to Very Heavy
  • Nudity: None
  • Sex: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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