I knew this movie under the working title of 'God Particle', but after some weird events between Netflix and Paramount Pictures, it is now The Cloverfield Paradox. I got so used to it being called God Particle that I am a little sad to see the name change but I am happy that Cloverfield is in the name. Why is this important? I have not seen the original Cloverfield movie but did really like 10 Cloverfield Lane. The Cloverfield brand has been converted into a vessel to tell interesting stories that no one would watch alone, but with the brand and some loose ties draws people in. Even the making of the movies are a secret, which really adds to the atmosphere of the brand. As the third movie in the anthology-like series, The Cloverfield Paradox follows in the footsteps of 10 Cloverfield Lane but strays from the path of telling a well-executed story.
Let's start off with the positives. The music is fantastic, it really gives the movie life. Immediately after the movie was over I checked who did the music and it turned out to be Bear McCreary. He is famous for his work on Battlestar Galactica, but I know him from 10 Cloverfield Lane and the upcoming God of War game.
The next good thing about this movie is its cast. Everyone does a great job playing their parts. No one is getting an Oscar but I believed what was happening.
The visuals and set design sold me that there was a crew on a space station. Though the budget for the movie is only around 26 million, I think they prioritized the right things. Focusing on the believability of the whole story coming together. This means CGI work where needed, but focusing on making the set feel alive.
The biggest problem I have with the movie is the story. There are unexplained points that aren't fully expanded on. 10 Cloverfield Lane is the superior Cloverfield movie because it has tighter storytelling that is coherent and makes everything clear. This movie is not as clear, sometimes on purpose and other times not. The movie tries to throw you off its scent but does a great job directing you to the conclusions you need to make, for the most part. There will be no spoilers here so I won't elaborate heavily. My complaint comes from a situation that happens to one character, and if you watch the movie you know which one.
My other story complaint is the main character's motivation. Her thought process doesn't make sense. The conclusion she comes to at the end of the second act makes no sense. There is exposition in the movie that states specifically why her thought process is not right, but she sticks to it anyway. This whole moment is "solved" with a trope to change the main characters' mind but it still bothers me. That trope's execution is pretty good because of the reasoning for the conflict that it incites is profound. You might guess the trope and action that come with it, but the reasoning behind it is kinda cool.
Overall, The Cloverfield Paradox continues a series that I am very interested in. It isn't even that long and it is on Netflix in the United States. I think Paramount selling US distribution to Netflix for this movie was a great idea and a win for Netflix users in the US. It is a really cool Sci-fi movie that depicts a really interesting paradox in space and time that probably wouldn't have been made without the Cloverfield name. You should definitely watch it.