Is ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ Intricate Sci-Fi Or A Plot Hole Nightmare?

Ten years ago, J.J. Abrams gave the world a new cult classic to obsess over. Now, we see how it all began.

Or do we?

Combining the innovative found footage style of The Blair Witch Project with science fiction, CGI and action, Cloverfield was born.

The second film 10 Cloverfield Lane came out a couple years ago after an abrupt announcement. The movie was originally conceived as a standalone film with no connection to Cloverfield. After they slapped the Cloverfield brand on it, they added a few new scenes and turned Cloverfield into an anthology.

Then Abrams and crew shocked the world during the Super Bowl by running a trailer for a third Cloverfield film that would be streaming on Netflix that very night.

So sneaky franchise connections aside, how’s the movie? Well, if you enjoy sci-fi films, then you’re going to love The Cloverfield Paradox. The film begins with the world suffering through a terrible energy crisis. A team of international experts has been sent into space to help solve the issue. However, as the film progresses it turns into a space and time situation that’ll definitely keep you on your toes and boggle your mind a bit.

I’ve been a Cloverfield fan from the start. I’ve seen both the original film and 10 Cloverfield Lane in theaters and was ecstatic when I heard a third was released. I even think it’s cool how the films aren’t marketed like regular Hollywood action flicks, though that may annoy some people. I also really liked The Cloverfield Paradox—I thought it had just the right amount of sci-fi cheese, drama and action.

Still, there were a few things in The Cloverfield Paradox I couldn’t immediately get on board with.

The film felt a little like it was trying too hard to be like Black Mirror with the level of technology they were using, which doesn’t make sense since the original film is set in 2008. The crew uses tech that’s way more advanced than anything from 2008. In the original Cloverfield everyone uses flip phones and videotape recorders. That’s right, a handheld camera that still uses videocassette tapes—do you even remember how those work?

The army is fighting this giant alien monster down on earth with your basic tanks and rocket launchers, yet there are people in space who are already using touch screens, 3D printers and communication devices that don’t even exist now in 2018? Also, in the original film, it really doesn’t seem like NYC is going through an energy crisis. So, excuse me, J.J. Abrams, but how are we supposed to believe these films are happening during the same timeline?

However, hear me out, the new film is all about different dimensions and, well, paradoxes. So that got me thinking, maybe this film is just set in a slightly different dimension than the original Cloverfield, a dimension that was pushed to be slightly more technologically advanced due to the energy crisis or perhaps even set in the future. And the internet seems to agree.

A ScreenCrush video says that all three films are set in different dimensions on earth and they’re all affected because of what happened in The Cloverfield Paradox (which I will not spoil for you). The video has more detailed explanations of Easter eggs and how the films relate to other Abrams movie—but it’s a spoiler, just to warn you.

There’s also rumor of a fourth Cloverfield film coming out this fall, reportedly called Overlord. This film is set during WWII, the night before D-Day, where we’re not only fighting Nazis, but maybe also supernatural forces. Sounds like an alternate dimension to me.

At least I can assure you that The Cloverfield Paradox will get the wheels in your head turning and keep your butt on the edge of your seat.