Imagine that you’re at your own going away party that your closest friends threw for you, in celebration to you going off to Japan for a great new career opportunity! Now imagine the strangest occurrence-taking place on this very same night that will radically change the lives of you and all your friends forever! Enter CLOVERFIELD, from the brilliant mind of J.J. Abrams (behind the hit TV series Alias with actress Jennifer Garner), a suspense thriller that is bound to keep you glued to the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
A group of friends are wishing their buddy Rob off to his new job in Japan with a party, when they are suddenly and abruptly disrupted by a disturbance. After some outside investigating they go on to find out that the city (story takes place in Manhattan NYC) is under attack, by someone or something! A few moments later, a peculiar large object comes hurling in the direction of Rob and his friends in the street, much to their surprise as they find out it’s the head to the Statue of Liberty! Now I don’t know about you, but if I’m out in the street with a group of friends and we hear a large, thunderous earthquake like jolt, followed by the head to a monument like the Statue of Liberty flung in my direction, I’m getting the hell out of Dodge, quickly! But our friends as movie magic would so conveniently have it aren’t scared off quite that urgently. So after the initial shock and confusion, they gather themselves up enough to realize they must evacuate the city!
So through many frantic twists and turns through the streets they first try to leave Manhattan by getting over the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s there that Rob finds out that one of his lady friends is hurt badly at her apartment from the tremors the disturbance had caused. So 3 friends decide to follow Rob on his Mission Impossible/War Of The Worlds like Quest to save their friend! And that’s where the plot and drama really thicken. I won’t spoil the fun or surprise to anyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet as to what or who it is that Rob and his friends has to face, but just know that the “Blair Witch” style of first person photography throughout the film, add a Hitchcock like intensity & level of suspense that will make the surprise well worth the wait! And there is one scene in particular in a safe zone camp in a Subway station that bloodthirsty horror films buffs will be talking about in gory detail after the movie is finished for sure!
The pace was pretty steady for the most part throughout, (with the exception of the fluff and back story stuff through maybe the first 15 minutes) but after that it’s frantic, sort of nervous and scarred as hell type action that ensues through the end of the film. The only drawbacks I will say that were a bit disappointing but didn’t negate the great suspense, timing and special effects and emotion of the movie for me the way some other movie goers thought it did, is that there was never really an explanation as to what the origin was behind the disturbance or attack on the city in the first place. And I’m sure the ending will be much to be desired by a few fans who are sticklers for wanting finality in the movies the go to see.
All in all CLOVERFIELD was a great fun thrill ride that I still believe will be worth the hype and price of admission. On a scale of 1-5 stars (1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest) I give CLOVERFIELD 3 ½ stars. Till next time, take care everyone.