Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama and Thriller
Running Time: 1 hr. 24 min.
Release Date: January 18th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, terror and disturbing images.
Directed by: Matt Reeves
JJ Rating: B+
Let’s just clear some things up: the camera shakes and you could experience motion sickness, the monster is not totally seen until the last quarter of the movie and the ending is not going to wrap up crap. So if any of that is a bother, then you best just skip this movie all together.
I have complained about shaky cam work with the last two movies of the Bourne trilogy, so what makes this one so different? Well this one was suppose to be a hand-cam, so the fact that it’s shaky is expected and needed to give it that real feel. I expected it and therefore was not at all bothered by it. With the Bourne trilogy it was not expected and when it happened it was not at all necessary or needed. Also along with the shaking of the cam there are flashbacks because the tape that is being used already has something on it. So what is being recorded over pops up once in a while. That adds an interesting telling to the story.
Speaking of interesting: the picture I used for this review is not in the movie. Well it is in the movie just not that shot. That shot is the shot of everyone coming in. What you’d see in the film is that guy right there holding the cam. Whatever he was pointing that thing at is what you’d see. I like this shot because it isn’t from the movie. It’s totally cooler because of that. I’m weird, I know.
The story line is simple. There was a goodbye party that is interrupted by explosions and the head of the Statue of Liberty rolling down the street. The evacuation starts and the shaky cam showed the group trying to leave. There’s nothing complicated that would cause someone to wonder what is going on, because what is going on is simple; they are trying to escape. As I already stated if you are looking for explanation as to what is going on with the monster or anything else this movie will only frustrate you. What it does is shows how a few characters trying to leave NYC safely.
There is humor in the story, funny moments that will have certain people laughing out loud. One of those funny moments is with the head of Liberty and what people do when they see it in the middle of the street. Also there are a few lines during the party that will give laughter. There are also scary moments where you might jump out of your seat with "AH!", but nothing that will make you have a heart attack. I like the simple scares that work. There’s a scene dealing with the tunnels. I expected it because it was set up, but when it happened it was far more freaky than anticipated. That made it exciting.
Cloverfield is interesting. I might buy it. I did not think I would before I saw it, but after I saw it I thought it would be fun to watch again. It was cool how it played like a documentary. I could watch it and make other people sick. Fun. The end does sort of just linger without a definite finality. It worked for me. Cloverfield is one of those movies that you will either hate or love. You remember Napoleon Dynamite? People were laughing or people were hating it. Well Cloverfield will illicit the same feelings, except instead of laughing there is "wow cool."
Cloverfield will make you appreciate the creative wonder that it is or you’ll hate it for the shaky shaker that it is. I personally love Cloverfield code name: Shaky Cam Sickness.