Sunday, May 1, 2011

Movie review: "Cloverfield"

Almost a week ago, I watched "Cloverfield". I didn't know much about movie, although I remembered that I made a fuss when it was first out. I also knew that it had something with either aliens or monsters, invading some big city, and that it was made from first-person perspective, with "amateur" camera.

It turned out I was mostly right. "Cloverfield" uses POV-mode made popular by "The Blair Witch Project", giving impression of being filmed by amateurs, while in the midst of action. And action is this movie consists of group of people running from their lives. Group of young people (twenties, by the look of it) gather around on goodbye-party for Rob, who is leaving for Japan. Hud, Rob's best friend gets a task of filming everything and making interviews with attendants. Except Rob's problems with his ex- or wanna-be girlfriend Beth, everything is going fine until something crashes in New York and starts a city-spanning panic. Rob, Hud and several other characters comes to edge of salvation, only to go back to save Beth in midst of alien invasion.

Most of the movie is great. It has a slow introduction, you are just starting to know the characters, party is starting to cool down, when action bangs wildly. Group of friends wondering, running, sudden attacks, a fateful decision... Unfortunately, it's hard to keep this level of intension for whole movie. Near to end, you get used to it, and what were once heroic decision and actions, now look like fool's moves. Also, things are getting a bit too unbelievable for at the end. In short, I didn't like last 20 minutes or so. I catch myself few times in wandering around in my head instead of really following the movie.

But as I said, most of the movie is really good. Movie easily succeeds in creating a atmosphere of mystery in the first part. Later, as we learn more about the threat, it looks very convincing. I must say that aliens are done very well. But after the part in military base, things went down for me.

Ending is ambitiously imagined and special, although it failed in making all the emotional impact in me. But I presume that lots of people will like. Actually, lots of people did like it, since this was one of hits in 2008.

"Cloverfield" is a good mystery/SF movie, although with potentially weaker ending. Nevertheless, it is a good evening watch, with much fun and action, for SF fans as much as for general audience.

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