Last night, during Super Bowl 52, it was revealed that the newest in original Netflix movies was released during the big game, The Cloverfield Paradox. Unlike their original series, that often garners huge accolades, Netflix movies usually come with mixed to negative reviews, and The Cloverfield Paradox is no exception. Thus far, the Netflix original has been panned by critics, but fans of the franchise have largely welcomed the recent addition. Rotten Tomatoes shows that The Cloverfield Paradox is at an abysmal 11 percent from the critics’ score, but the audience score is at a positive 62 percent (out of nearly 5,000 user ratings).
Originally titled The God Particle, like 10 Cloverfield Lane, the film wasn’t originally supposed to be a part of the Cloverfield universe. But that was changed when J.J. Abrams did some post-production editing, and the story was connected to the famed franchise. This last-minute editing is one of the reasons why the film is being panned so badly.
But to be fair, the only main connection that the second installment had to the first movie is that John Goodman’s character worked for the parent company, Tagruato, that the main character worked for in Cloverfield, Slusho. So, it’s not like there was a huge connection between the first and second film. In fact, The Cloverfield Paradox reveals way more about the first film than 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Though all three movies have sci-fi elements to them, they all feel very different. Cloverfield is a found-footage action movie that feels like a POV of a Godzilla flick. The second installment was a horror movie that put audiences on the edge of their seat, and it also showed that John Goodman can be very scary. And The Cloverfield Paradox is a full-blown sci-fi action-thriller, with plenty of suspense to boot.
Directed by Julius Onah, and co-produced by J.J. Abrams, The Cloverfield Paradox stars David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, Daniel Bruhl, Ziyi Zhang, Roger Davies, and Elizabeth Debicki. IMDb provides the premise for the newest of Netflix movies of 2018.
“Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.”
Warning, spoilers and Easter eggs for Netflix’s The Cloverfield Paradox ahead.
If you’re looking for Netflix movies from 2018 that have a ton of sci-fi action and drama, then look no further than The Cloverfield Paradox. Set in 2028, most of the film takes place aboard a space station called The Shepherd. Onah does a great job of making it feel different than other movies with a similar setting (films like Alien and Life). The cast all deliver top-notch performances, and it’s refreshing to see such a diverse group of actors.
The film moves along at a nice pace with constant tension or action in the scenes, mixed with witty one-liners, and it has all the components that sci-fi and quantum physics fans should love: futuristic weapons and gadgets, a storyline based on Higgs boson (the formal name of the God Particle), multiverses, and of course, otherworldly creatures. But the main reason Netflix subscribers are anxious to see this film is to see how it ties into the “Cloververse.”
In Paradox, the world has a major energy crisis, and the space crew uses a particle accelerator in hopes of finding an infinite source of energy. Every time the crew uses it, they run the risk of opening space-time, thus bringing together multiple dimensions, and unleashing chaos on the world, like otherworldly monsters. And as the Netflix movie states, “Not just here and now…In the past, in the future, [and] in other dimensions.”
[watching a bunch of scientists do a radical experiment, the dangers of which they have been explicitly warned about, also the movie has “cloverfield” in the title] I’m sure this will be fine
— Netflix US (@netflix) February 5, 2018
And that’s exactly what happens in The Cloverfield Paradox, as the crew is thrown into another dimension. This implies that the first two Cloverfield movies could take place in separate dimensions. This could also explain the different monsters and aliens seen in the first two films, and it was all caused by the particle accelerator used aboard The Shepherd (as implied by the movie’s tagline seen in the poster below). And with the fourth installment, currently titled Overlord (possibly being released in late 2018), taking place during World War II, it looks like the particle accelerator certainly affected the past.
Per the franchise’s usual, they leave us with more questions than answers. But they do give us a long-awaited answer to a question that Cloverfield fans have been asking for years: What fell in the ocean at the end of the first movie? There have been oodles of fan theories of what could have fallen in the ocean, but Netflix audiences finally get the answer at the end of Paradox; it’s part of The Shepherd spacecraft holding the surviving members of the crew.
At the end of the film, the pod plummets towards the ocean and a creature that resembles the monster from the first Cloverfield, only bigger (perhaps a parent to the original monster?), roars its ugly head above the clouds. Seemingly, there is a glimpse of the monster during the film when the character of Michael (who is on Earth) runs to a bunker for safety, but the monster is shown clearer at the end of the film.
Many are asking the question of how could that explain the splash at the end of Cloverfield, which takes place in 2008, if the third movie takes place in 2028? But that’s explained in the beginning of Paradox when the crew is warned that the particle accelerator could rip through time, bringing dimensions and worlds together. But we still don’t know the exact story behind the monster in the original movie, and that’s part of Cloverfield’s charm.
The explanation for the splash in the ocean is the most notable, and obvious, Easter egg in the film, but there are others. In 10 Cloverfield Lane, Emmett briefly mentions that Howard has a theory on mutant space worms, and in Paradox, we do indeed see mutant space worms (and they’re deadly and gross). With no surprise (as shown in the trailer below), Slusho also makes an appearance, as does the Tagruato logo, and the famed Kelvin gas station pops up as well. No doubt, other eggs will be discovered the more this film is revisited.
If you’re a fan of the Cloverfield universe, or of sci-fi movies in general, then the latest installment is a must-watch. All in all, this is a solid movie from beginning to end. With a major Easter egg providing the answer to a long-awaited question, solid performances from the cast, and an ending that begs to be watched more than once, The Cloverfield Paradox is one of the best Netflix movies new to 2018.