After months of rumors, reports and delays, audiences were "treated" to an all-new chapter in the Cloverfield franchise with The Cloverfield Paradox, which debuted on Netflix following the Super Bowl. A release strategy for an anticipated film has never happened like this, with the big game debuting a first look at the film with the announcement that it would debut hours later, which piqued many fans' excitement. Unfortunately, critics aren't too impressed with the film, which sits at only 11% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Compared to other major releases, Paradox has far fewer reviews tabulated, with only 27 reviews submitted to the review aggregator site. The film's positive reviews, of which there are only three, claim that the film is an enthralling sci-fi thriller with compelling moments of fear. The negative reviews, on the other hand, are far more passionate than all of the positive reviews combined.
"The Cloverfield Paradox may be a splash for Netflix, but it's a dud as a sci-fi thriller," describes Matt Goldberg at Collider.
Over at Thrillist, Jordan Hoffman looked on the bright side, pointing out, "I had a blast making fun of this, and I didn't spend anything on gas money or tickets."
Joe Reid at Decider got a little more vicious, pointing out that not only is the film a disappointment but that it's also an insult to the fans that were invested in the Cloverfield brand.
The review claims, "After delivering a movie whose logic was so muddled and whose imagination was so hamstrung by basic characters and nonsensical plotting, that final scene feels like a real slap in the face."
One element of the film that created such a disappointment with viewers is the strength of the two previous films in the loosely-related series.
The first film in the franchise, 2008's Cloverfield, offered an exciting monster movie shot through an unconventional found-footage approach, which the site describes, "A sort of Blair Witch Project crossed with Godzilla, Cloverfield is economically paced, stylistically clever, and filled with scares." That film sits at 77% positive reviews.
10 Cloverfield Lane managed to surpass the original film's score, sitting at 90% positive reviews.
"Smart, solidly crafted, and palpably tense, 10 Cloverfield Lane makes the most of its confined setting and outstanding cast -- and suggests a new frontier for franchise filmmaking," Rotten Tomatoes described.
The Cloverfield Paradox is now streaming on Netflix.
[H/T Rotten Tomatoes]