Amongst the endless amount of commercials aired during the Super Bowl was a preview for the latest addition to the super weird and confusing franchise that is Cloverfield. Even more surprising than the news of a threequel that no one asked for was that the next installment in the franchise, The Cloverfield Paradox, wasn’t coming soon, but was immediately available to stream on Netflix. Twas a bold strategy, Cotton, and I think it paid off big time. Releasing a movie straight to Netflix is basically the modern day equivalent of a straight to DVD release. Which is perfect for entertaining movies you want to see but won’t spend fourteen bucks on like The Cloverfield Paradox or the very underappreciated Green Street 3: Never Back Down. And that’s kind of been the theme of every Cloverfield movie so far: mysterious monsters + absolutely no answers = entertaining but overall mediocre movie.
You may not be familiar with the first two Cloverfield movies but don’t worry because even those who have seen them probably couldn’t tell you anything about them. In case you missed the first two, here’s a quick but sufficient recap. SPOILERS AHEAD. Cloverfield: a big monster and some other small monsters attack the Big Apple. We don’t really know what they look like or where they came from. The end. 10 Cloverfield Lane: John Goodman is really creepy and does really creepy stuff with a girl in his bunker while New York is attacked by these faceless/nameless monsters. At the end there’s a spaceship. The end. You now know everything. I think.
And so we arrive at The Cloverfield Paradox. Finally we get the answer to the one question we’ve had all along, WHAT ARE THESE MONSTERS AND WHERE DID THEY COME FROM? And we did get that answer, but it wasn't very satisfying. The answer is simple yet incredibly complex, just like the first two movies. Parallel universes. Just like Stranger Things, scientists accidentally opened some sort of wormhole that brought these monsters and apparently a spaceship to earth from other dimensions.womrholeAll things considered, that makes sense. Not that I fully or even partially understand worm holes or parallel universes, in fact it's beyond me how "wormhole" is an actual scientific term. If it even is. I really don't know. But I’m willing to go with the flow, to a certain extent, because the whole concept is cool and monsters are dope. And that's why The Cloverfield Paradox as the perfect movie for the straight to Netflix strategy.
Because the theory of parallel universes is so complex, the whole movie was waiting for scientists to solve a problem we didn’t understand while crazy inexplicable multiverse things, like a guy's cut off arm having a mind of it's own, slowed them down. There’s no doubt it’s suspenseful and it’s definitely entertaining, but it’s hard to really get into the plot because it’s mostly just shock factor you can’t ask questions about because you wouldn’t even be able to form the right question. But that’s OK. If you expected a straight forward movie than you were doomed from the start. These movies are weird and ridiculous and you’re probably not going to be satisfied, unless you understand what your walking in to. And that’s what the straight to streaming release does, it lowers expectations, in a good way. Although The Cloverfield Paradox has gotten pretty terrible reviews, it got more attention and views than it ever would have had it been in theaters. This is good for movies in general. It opens a door for absurd movies people either love or hate to have a platform so that they don’t just bomb in theaters and get forgotten about. And it’s already paying off. News of ANOTHER Cloverfield movie has just come out and producer J.J. Abrams says it’s “a crazy movie”. As if the first three were totally sane. Hopefully this becomes a trend and we can finally get sequels and prequels that everyone wants but aren't worth the trouble. Like a sequel to World War Z. Remember how that ended? Brad Pitt barely did shit and then the movie just ended. His scarf was sick though, right? Right!? You know I'm right...