Cloverfield Matt Reeves

Cloverfield Matt Reeves
For a film that’s missing a traditional beginning and end, Cloverfield is incredibly entertaining and enjoyable. For those who escaped the hype when this movie hit theatres in January, Cloverfield is a monster movie that doesn’t focus on the monster. Instead, the main story revolves around characters who would normally be part of the nameless crowd running down the street in a blind panic while the heroes figure out a way to stop the giant beast from destroying the city. The story of Cloverfield unfolds via home video footage found in Central Park by the U.S. military after the attack of a giant, alien monster. The attack comes unexpectedly for the people of New York, with no warning or explanation. When the chaos begins, Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David) is enjoying a surprise going away party thrown by his friends. The partygoers soon become part of the panicking mob as earthquakes and explosions rock the city. Along with millions of other frightened people, Rob and his friends try to escape Manhattan and survive the long night of destruction. Unlike most Hollywood movies, Cloverfield doesn’t have regular Joes discovering their inner action hero in the face of insurmountable odds, and that is the film’s strength as well as its weakness. People expecting explanations or a sense of completion will be disappointed. Cloverfield is more like the middle chapter of a book, which may be frustrating to those who don’t like being left without answers to the many questions this story inspires. Producer J. J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) has made unanswered questions his calling card, keeping viewers in a constant state of suspense, which we can only hope have satisfying resolutions at the end of the journey. The DVD plays on the mystery of the Cloverfield monster, with the back of the box hinting at further explanations but not providing them on the disc. The deleted scenes add nothing useful to the story and the alternate endings don’t change the film in any meaningful way. Apparently there are secret Easter eggs hidden on the disc but they will require some exploration or a Google search to find them. It would have been nice to see some explanations in the DVD extras, either in the commentary or features, but regardless of Cloverfield’s lack of traditional narrative detail, it is sure to be remembered as one of the great monster movies, alongside Godzilla and King Kong. Hopefully the rumoured sequels will shed some light on the mystery surrounding one of the most fearsome creatures to ever rampage across the silver screen. (Paramount)