The Cloverfield Paradox (And possible spoilers)
The Cloverfield Paradox was originally called The God Particle – clear reference to the Higgs boson which was possibly discovered by the CERN particle accelerator. The movie takes place in a future where the world is in an energy crisis. The movie focuses mainly on a woman who is called for a mission to help save Earth from this crisis. She reluctantly goes to the space station “Cloverfield”. There, she is the communication officer helping use the particle accelerator known as “The Shepard”. The plan is to make a renewable energy source, and because of the dangers involved with their experiments, they need to be in space.
Countries from all over the world have provided the crew as they spend 694 days trying to save the planet. Tensions start to flare up as their countries on Earth get closer to the brink of war. Day after day, they have failed attempts. After two years, they finally see progress, right before everything explodes. While they don’t notice it right away, they have lost the Earth. This is where the paradox begins to take effect. Next thing they know, a person appears inside a wall and somehow knows them all. Chris O’Dowd loses something serious while remaining very cheery and witty, and the crew soon discovers the true nature of “The Cloverfield Paradox”.
The theory of parallel universes is a massive one, so I’ll stick to the most basic description of it. The theory revolves around the idea that there are infinite possibilities in the universe. There are infinite realities with every conceivable change from our own. There are universes where you could have been born the opposite sex, or humans are all Cronenberged, or even a slight change like your favorite color is puce instead of green. If you’re confused and want simple examples, go watch Rick and Morty, as they explore it in great lengths.
Anyway, the movie explores the choices and differences between the two worlds. It focuses on our main character, Hamilton (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), and how her life has differed in the two universes. It also explores the consequences of the station’s attempt to play god. See, when they got the “Shepard” to work, they ripped the space-time continuum open.
So what is the connection to the other two movies? Well, the rip sent monsters and demons into the past, present, and future. So that’s the connection. Thin, yes, but it’s there.
Throughout the movie, we also view Hamilton’s husband’s point of view on Earth during all of this cross-dimensional shifting. We see a sight similar to the original Cloverfield, which makes us assume it is the same event but as we learn later, it is not. Honestly, we should have known this considering the advanced tech and futuristic problems that were not present in the 2008 film.
Our original Earth observes The Cloverfield Paradox as a poor attempt at a connection between the other two films. This film fails to achieve the excitement and intrigue. The fact that it’s on Netflix saves the production company from a disaster in the theaters and it was a smart move on their part. To quote my college roommate who saw the original Cloverfield with me:
That was a total pile of garbage.
He is not alone in his thoughts, too. He and I both loved the original and saw it many times in theaters. So, I understand the attempt at a sequel/trilogy did not live up to what he and many others wanted it to. At time of writing, the movie sits at an 20% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 56% audience score. The movie, while having a great cast, gets lost in its complex story and stretch to connect to the other films.
An opposite side of the universe sees The Cloverfield Paradox as a decent sci-fi movie. In the past year, we have seen movies like Passengers and Life completely flop in their attempts to make us think. Unlike those films, The Cloverfield Paradox does make us think. It asks the question: “What are the effects of tapping into things we don’t yet understand?”
When CERN was turned on, people all over the world held their breaths and waited for the world to be destroyed. The scientists did not know what would happen when they smashed particles together at such high speeds; they took a leap of faith and hoped for the best. The worst would be possibly creating a black hole that would swallow up the entire Earth. There is even a theory that this actually happened and we are now living in a parallel universe. (See The Mandela Effect). Maybe The Cloverfield Paradox is a good movie. Maybe we’re just too connected to the original and we should, like the dimensional shift in the movie, turn our view upside down.
The movie isn’t terrible. It isn’t great either. I still recommend watching it though. I loved Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane, and I didn’t hate this movie. However, it doesn’t connect well with the others, but to be fair neither did 10 Cloverfield Lane. It’s on Netflix, and it’s only 102 minutes long. Give it a chance. It may surprise you. I say an open mind will make the difference.
What did you think of The Cloverfield Paradox? Let us know in the comments!