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The Cloverfield Paradox

The ‘Cloverfield’ movies have made an interesting series. ‘Cloverfield’ and ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ had several thought-provoking sci-fi/thriller trappings making for an engagingly suspenseful and exciting duo. ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ attempts to continue their success. Unfortunately it’s derivative of similar films, with the ‘Cloverfield’ name seemingly tacked onto this less than stellar effort.

Suffering a global energy crisis, Earth relies on various space agencies to find an answer. Included is the Cloverfield Station with a crew featuring communications officer Ava (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Jason (David Oyelowo) and Gordon (Chris O’Dowd). While testing a particle accelerator, this action creates a Cloverfield Paradox which opens a portal to another dimension. Attempting to close it, the crew are lured into a universe of danger with time running out to save earth and themselves.

The best thing one can say about ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ is that it looks spectacular. The CGI is utilised well as the space vistas successfully reflect the black danger in which the characters find themselves. The multinational nature of the space station is effectively realised with a strong cast doing their best to enliven mediocre material.

‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ suffers from run of the mill story-telling and pedestrian direction. Both highlight the murkiness of the plotting and leaden pacing. Barely any tension is felt with the crew member’s fates registering little empathy. Whilst the moral dilemmas are thought-provoking, the story never truly follows through on their potential with an explosive finale too little too late.

Third time isn’t so lucky with ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’. It only has scant connection to previous instalments with this entry having a by the numbers feel. Although in space ‘no one can hear you scream’, viewers may scream at frustration in their lounge rooms at this effort with the petals falling off this cinematic rose.

Rating out of 10: 4

CURRENTLY STREAMING ON NETFLIX.

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