Cloverfield

IMDB

(2008, Matt Reeves)

Half of the movie is great. The other half has to do with stupid human beings.

The choice to shoot this movie from the view of the inhabitants of the Ant Farm that is to be destroyed, AKA Manhattan, is a great one. So many monster movies focus on shrouding and then revealing the monster, while throwing away the shroud. Here the beastie is nearly always out of sight and elusive, not unlike a land-based Nessie. If the whole movie had been about people running from a rarely-seen dangerous enemy, it would have been thoroughly enjoyable throughout. Does anyone remember a little film called Jaws?

Instead, there’s this B thread that focuses on some “it” couple trying to find each other amidst the destruction and chaos which is COMPLETELY illogical and absolutely soul-sucking to watch. And then there’s the dolt with the handheld camera that rambles on endlessly and uncomfortably flirts with some poor vapid girl who’s unlucky enough to experience the attack with him. As if there’s no better time for mackin’ then when the world is ending. Seriously, am I supposed to be rooting for the monster to eat New York?

The style of the film is herky-jerky for a reason, since it’s supposed to be from the above dullard’s POV, and not unlike a thrillride. But it’s that planned cinéma vérité that also works to its detriment, because in your heart, you know, you’re going to be spoonfed all the information you need, and the shadowy nature of The Thing That Ate SoHo has been storyboarded within an inch of its scaly existence.

I just wish the whole thing didn’t feel so crafted, but it does. There are some genuinely great moments in this film. Unfortunately, it just comes of as half-baked.

2.5/5.0

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Posted on July 21, 2008, in Film log and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I don’t know…I think the “Cloverfield” pre-release hype was more entertaining than the movie itself, which I’d rate about the same as you did. I agree, too, that the movie would have been better without the big CGI monster, but you need those things to sell movies to kids these days, I guess.

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