(US - 2018)
Directed by Julius Onah. Written by Oren Uziel. Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, John Ortiz, Chris O'Dowd, Aksel Hennie, Zhang Ziyi, Elizabeth Debicki, Roger Davies, Clover Nee, Donal Logue, Suzanne Cryer, voices of Ken Olin, Simon Pegg, Greg Grunberg. (Unrated, 102 mins)
Though word began leaking online before it was official, Netflix pulled off one of the more ingenious marketing events in recent memory by running a trailer for THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX during the Super Bowl and then making it available to stream immediately following the game. Whether this release strategy is the "game changer" that many were inclined to call it remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX is not. Shot two years ago under the title GOD PARTICLE, and turned into a CLOVERFIELD movie by producer J.J. Abrams very late in production--a move that necessitated rewrites and reshoots (2016's 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE was also a pre-existing script retrofitted into the tenuous CLOVERFIELD universe)--THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX (also called CLOVERFIELD STATION at one time) was originally set to be released in February 2017, but Paramount kept shuffling it around, unable to settle on a date. It was first moved to fall 2017, then February 2018, and finally April 2018, but in recent weeks, the studio canceled the theatrical release and decided to sell it to Netflix, a move very similar to the release plan for Alex Garland's upcoming ANNIHILATION, which is debuting on Netflix everywhere in the world except North America and China later in February. Paramount said that test audiences found ANNIHILATION "too intellectual," so perhaps they're skittish about losing money on it, but no such excuse was given for THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX. No, the reason they pawned this off is obvious: it's just terrible.