Trailer for THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX; Hitting Netflix Today

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On Sunday there were two massive surprises: A Super Bowl game worth watching, and the release of The Cloverfield Paradox, the third movie in the Cloverfield franchise.

The film was released suddenly overnight on Netflix with absolutely no marketing whatsoever aside from one Super Bowl commercial. It has 5,017 user ratings as of this writing, averaging 3.5 stars out of five.

Ever since Sundance, there have been rumors revolving around Netflix potentially acquiring the next Cloverfield film, which we now know as The Cloverfield Paradox.

It will be interesting to see how the franchise goes from here on out. This is a series engineered for the age of the internet, and it's a juggernaut.

"The Super Bowl trailer for Paradox gave the impression the movie would reveal the origin of the monster that appeared in the 2008 movie and was later on hinted at in the critically acclaimed 2016 follow-up - but it barely did that". The platform is also a lot more accessible than paying for a movie ticket, especially when we're talking about indie films like Mudbound. The emotional through line of the film, Ava's development is starkly in contrast to a crew of characters who often act more in service to the plot than to themselves. It's more egregious in a movie like 10 Cloverfield Lane, which is pretty damn great without all the Cloverfield stuff in it.

Instead (at least ostensibly) the release pushes us to look at the content. How does the new movie compare to the other two?

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In terms of the timeline, it takes place before the events of the first and second movie as a prequel.

Set in the future, the film follows a group of astronauts and engineers from different countries who test a particle accelerator in space to, hopefully, solve the earth's energy crisis. But is it a step in the right direction for the series, or a major misfire?

Except in the Cloverfield universe, everything is being fleshed out as we go along. Apparently, simply put, it's just not that good. The trailer for the Cloverfield sequel aired for the first time during the game. Everyone may be stuck in the same apocalyptic nightmare, but not everyone's apocalypse is the same. "They just need us to watch it". And then 10 Cloverfield Lane is just a thing that's happening after or during the events of Cloverfield. There are moments of that fan service I'll happily admit to enjoying, but they don't make up for the film's missteps. "And it's in some ways part anthology, part something a little bit bigger, but only time will tell".

"The previous "Cloverfield" films have similarly thrown viewers into barely-explained realities, and their entertainment value has been defined by the limits of those worlds", he wrote. It's not over until the big monster croaks. That sounds GREAT. Alas, it's quickly apparent why Paramount decided not to theatrically release The Cloverfield Paradox: Particularly in its opening scenes, it's an awkward, poorly edited, exposition-dumping mess. Rather it's an endorsement of the strength of the franchise as a whole, which has elegantly overrun the internet machine.

A fourth Cloverfield film is already on the way, but IndieWire's David Ehrlich wonders if the brand - "until yesterday a magic word capable of stirring excitement out of nothing - is now tainted beyond recognition".

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