Over the course of the last decade, the Cloverfield franchise has stood out as one of Hollywood's most mysterious entities. A revolutionary experiment in movie marketing ever since the release of the first film back in 2008, Cloverfield has reinvented itself every time it has returned. That idea was taken to the next level this weekend with the surprise release of The Cloverfield Paradox, but while there was a lot of excitement going into the film's Netflix premiere, the final product left a lot to be desired.
On that note, we're going to take this time to talk about the specific mistakes that The Cloverfield Paradox made in the construction of its story. Considering the film's less-than-stellar 21% Rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the hope here is that the Cloverfield brand can learn from these issues and evolve in a way that will get fans excited about a fourth installment. With that in mind, let's dive in and kick things off with a discussion of The Cloverfield Paradox's lack of internal logic.
It Didn't Explain The Things That Needed To Be Explained
Right off the bat, we need to address the fact that some absolutely bonkers stuff goes down in The Cloverfield Paradox once the crew aboard the space station manages to fire the particle accelerator successfully. Between a member of the team hallucinating voices in his head, to the walls quite literally eating Mundy's arm, to that same arm becoming sentient and helping the crew locate a piece of navigational equipment, The Cloverfield Paradox keeps things weird. That's fine, but the problem is that there's little to no internal logic for why much of this happens, and the film has no interest in explaining why a severed arm would have the ability to provide exposition and move the story along. Audiences can stomach some pretty bizarre happenings in a movie, but everything needs to be established with a set of rules to work properly. This film doesn't do that.
It Explained Things That Worked Better As Mysteries
On the other hand, the areas of the Cloverfield universe that were explained by The Cloverfield Paradox were things that would've worked better if the film had opted to keep them mysteries. Between Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane, most audiences had come to a consensus that the Cloverfield universe operated based on multiverse rules. However, The Cloverfield Paradox takes things one step further to explain that the firing of the Shepard accelerator specifically caused the rift in space and time that brought the monsters to earth in the first place. That's a level of explanation almost as bad as the introduction of midichlorians to the Star Wars franchise in The Phantom Menace, and it ruins a lot of what made the Cloverfield world cool in the first place. Now we know why this world exists, and it's far less appealing.