The Cloverfield Paradox ½

While the film’s no-warning Super Bowl Sunday release seems to have succeeded in generating a couple of days of Internet buzz, it’s apparent from the final product why Netflix elected not to hype Julius Onah’s 'The Cloverfield Paradox' for months in advance: It’s a baffling shambles of a film. Setting aside the dubious attempt to retroactively apply the 'Cloverfield' branding – which takes the form of some dreary, ill-fitting scenes set on Earth and one final, gratuitous effects shot – the film’s inexplicable decision to turn a particle-collider doomsday scenario into an 'Event Horizon' (1997) knockoff is utterly misguided. (If there’s one sci-fi horror feature that should never be emulated, it’s 'Event Horizon'.) The cast is ridiculously over-qualified, and there’s a germ of potential in the notion of tangent universes as a source of existential terror, but 'Paradox' feels like a random assortment of indifferently mounted space-thriller and body-horror sequences that have been pulverized into an unintelligible narrative slurry.