Originally planned for an April theatrical release date, the third Cloverfield movie got itself a surprise release on Netflix immediately following the Super Bowl. While I’m a big fan of the first two installments in the Cloverfield series, J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production company have got to be kidding trying to call this a legitimate chapter in the Cloverfield universe. The Cloverfield Paradox was originally a project called God Particle, a standalone science fiction film directed by Julius Onah. Somewhere during production, Bad Robot decided to make it a Cloverfield film. How is it a Cloverfield film? A few short, badly constructed scenes shoehorned into the narrative, including a ten second final shot that feels like a total cheat. They did this sort of last-minute tinkering when they made 10 Cloverfield Lane, and that resulted in a good movie. This one results in a muddled mess. The plot involves a space station trying to create a free power source to revitalize a struggling Earth. The crew (which includes Daniel Bruhl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ziyi Zhang and David Oyelowo) accidentally zap themselves into another dimension. While they struggle in the other dimension to find their way home, the dimension they left behind is dealing with a new problem. The events happening back on Earth might’ve made for a better movie, but the one we get in space is an Event Horizon rip-off. It’s no mystery why Bad Robot avoided a theatrical run for this. It stinks.

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