Directed by Julius Onah
Starring – David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Bruhl
The Plot – Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, a group of scientists from many countries test a device to solve an energy crisis, but instead end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.
Rated PG-13 for mild profanity, violence and gore, as well as frightening imagery.
– This is a very talented collaborative cast who are put through the ringer of some very basic character development. Where the sun shines is in the hearty humanity of Mbatha-Raw, as well as Oyelowo’s endless intelligence. In them, the film offers two compelling leads to play against typecast of minorities in this particular genre.
– Legitimate frights that feed to the very modern day ‘Black Mirror’ influenced audiences who crave nightmare worlds being brought to life.
– A dual narrative between orbit and land that seeks the importance of both. As to where most science fiction in space films leave the latter behind, this script understands the value in both to the progression of the revealing points.
– Bear McCreary’s enthralling musical tones. While only a stud previously on television scores like ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’, McCreary dedicates his single best feature film score to date, pushing the urgency long after the uneven twists have peaked creatively.
– For a Netflix film, the movement of the camera angles and pursuing shots offer a subtle, yet commanding focus on where to keep your attention at all times.
– It doesn’t take a genius to see how thin the Cloverfield folklore is squeezed here. Once again, this feels like a script for an entirely different film that was re-written last minute to cater to a popular franchise. I never thought I’d say this, but this sequel needs more influence of its predecessors.
– The continuing problem that I have with this series is that I’m left with even more questions with each passing chapter. This is OK temporarily to get the next one over, but I can’t escape this inevitable feeling that the questions that arose from the original film more than ten years ago will be left forgotten.
– While not the worst I’ve ever seen, the computer generation in effects work can be boldly compromising to the live properties around it, giving scenes an unwelcome cartoonish layer that totally took me out of the terror. The eye ball scene in particular looked so unappealing that its movements never feel authentic enough to take seriously.
– There never feels like enough capitalizing on the intoxicating ideas that the first act introduces. The final minutes, which have previously been the peak of the previous two films, peters away enough momentum, and will have you checking your watch for the first time all film.
– Smart people making stupid decisions part……….umm. Certainly nothing new to space settings, but the choices made by scientists here continue to insill laughter in me when I really shouldn’t be.