The streaming company shocked viewers by announcing Sunday during the Super Bowl that the mysterious third film in the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi franchise, The Cloverfield Paradox, was going to premiere right after the big game. But is it a step in the right direction for the series, or a major misfire?
Critics are calling it a "trainwreck", and it has a 16% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The negative way would be to say that the producers behind The Cloverfield Paradox, including J.J. The streaming giant made a decision to give it some shock value by revealing a teaser during the game and launching the film before the Philadelphia Eagles could say "we're going to Disney World!" Originally called God Particle, the film's release has also gone through multiple date changes.
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When it comes to J.J. Abrams's Cloverfield franchise, half the fun its unconventional risks in storytelling-from first-person found-footage style filming to intense secrecy and surprise releases. 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg has said that he expects the whole series to be like an umbrella under which the universe can be continuously reinvented. The streaming service is unlikely to release viewing figures, so we'll have to rely on guesswork to figure out how many people have rushed to watch "The Cloverfield Paradox" regardless of whether or not they were engrossed in the Superbowl. "But for this to be a game-changing moment in how big movies can be marketing and distributed, [it] would have to be a good movie", Mendelson writes. At a time when film trailers and release schedules are more heavily reported on and dissected than ever before this could be seen as an odd choice, but it largely removes "hype" of the film from the narrative. Instead, The Cloverfield Paradox is rushed to the extreme, sprinting towards a conclusion that ultimately feels like a huge middle finger to an audience that wants nothing more than to see this franchise succeed. "Okja" was never going to set the world ablaze, "Bright" is downright bad, and now, "The Cloverfield Paradox", your ace in the hole, has turned out to be a disappointment as well.
Lead Ava (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) leaves behind on Earth a loving husband (Roger Davies) and personal trauma involving the loss of their two children.
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Directorial duties fall on newcomer Julius Onah. Unfortunately, the blast from the accelerator opens a portal to a different dimension, sending the crew and mission into chaos. "We are probably at a point where we need to just acknowledge that theatrical exhibition as we used to know it is a dying form, on Star Wars/superhero/occasional surprise hit life support", Seitz tweeted last month.
Basically, "The Cloverfield Paradox" plays like an elaborate mash-up of science fiction past, trying to concoct a cerebral thriller from random pieces of "Alien", "The Thing" and (perhaps most fundamentally) "2010", Peter Hyams' 1984 sequel to "2001: A Space Odyssey".
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On a final Hail Mary attempt, the ball got tipped in the end zone, but no Patriots players could come down with it. I'm proud of the boys, I'm proud to be on this team , I'm proud of the way everyone played.
The Cloverfield Paradox was once meant to be a big-screen, wide-release sci-fi blockbuster; instead, it ended up, as The Hollywood Reporter noted, as a product advertised during a football game and delivered immediately afterward so viewers don't even need to leave the couch. Cloverfield did tease what appeared to be a space capsule falling into the ocean, so there's a chance that there may well be some bleeding over of the Shepard team that dropped back into Earth Prime after all. Why is this subplot in the movie at all?
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