‘Cloverfield’ heals a nation

Douglas Hite

Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Credit: Ron Soltys


Starring T.J. Miller, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas

Directed by Matt Reeves

Distributed by Paramount, Bad Robot

Rated PG-13 Runtime 85 min.

Stater rating (out of five): **

Go see Cloverfield. Just show up a half hour late.

This movie begins with a handful of characters who are followed through apocalyptic New York City attending a going-away party filled with useless chick-flick-esque drama. This is the most difficult part of the movie to bear. In retrospect, however, the incredibly boring nature of the introduction may serve a real purpose: to juxtapose itself against how incredibly action-packed the remainder of Cloverfield is. So, if it’s pure action you’re looking for, you should seriously consider showing up late.

But if you’re curious, here’s what happens: One character slept with another character and it’s really awkward for everyone else. Now, let’s get to the explosions.

If there is one person who might be construed as a main character, it is likely Hud: the man behind the camera. Our story follows everything through his eyes as he is carrying a remarkably hardy video camera. He also serves as an anti-hero with qualities mixed between the fat guy from Superbad, Shaggy from “Scooby-Doo,” and a whole lot of your frat-boy older brother.

As the characters around him attempt — often in vain- — heroic acts such as saving the girl the one guy slept with from her recently destroyed apartment building, Hud spends most of his time remarking on how freaking awesome the explosions are, hitting on a girl who later explodes (he’s not the best videographer), and making the worst one-liners possible for the situation.

Often times, constant leering downfalls are difficult to get over when watching a movie. Cloverfield is a definite exception as all of its questionable qualities oppose only one redeemable aspect: explosions. There’s so many explosions. Big ones, little ones, really big ones — all wonderful.

This is a movie about explosions. And that’s okay.

It’s actually refreshing to see this many explosions taking place in New York City. I’m pleasantly surprised that America is now ready to see buildings falling again. Lots of buildings fell in this movie, including what looked like the obligatory Chrysler Building. But, as previously mentioned, Hud is not the best of videographers, so it was difficult to tell if that was it.

Cloverfield has been a long time coming. As part of the United States’ post 9-11 healing process, we obviously need a movie that graphically portrayed huge buildings being knocked down. Cloverfield even featured the severed head of the Statue of Liberty rolling down the streets of Manhattan.

All in all, Cloverfield is a worthy watch if you’re in the mood for large scale-killing in the form of a “Blair Godzilla Project” and you’ve got a hankering for watching New York sky-scrapers fall.

Contact all reporter Douglas Hite at [email protected].