Image Credit: Collider From left John Gallagher JR, Mary ElizaBeth Winstead, and John Goodman in “Ten Cloverfield Lane”.
More or less new Cannon that exists in the same Universe as 2008’s CloverField, 10 CloverField Lane is a dark and far more entertaining tale than its predecessor, which found its characters running toward the peril instead of from it. A lackluster and frankly boring found footage film with cliché’s aplenty. 10 Cloverfield Lane however, finds three central characters locked in a confined underground bunker complete with TV, Radio and Running Water.
With the rarely seen “film Language” open in which female lead Michelle (Mary Elizabeth winstead) is leaving after a relationship gone bad from her Louisiana abode. Then Waking up in bed shackled to a wall after a devastating accident, it’s no surprise that she begins to question her surroundings and that of questionable “Caregiver” Howard (John Goodman) whom claims he saved her life from a chemical attack from an extraterrestrial invasion. However, Michelle is no rock as she goes along with the story and discovers she isn’t the only one Howard “saved” from the attack. Emmet (John Gallagher JR) whom sleeps among many shelves of food that could feed an army for weeks helped Howard build the underground fortress and begged for entrance as the attack commenced.
What follows is a montage of these characters trying to pass the time as though the world may have ended on the outside, but for these three possibly the lone survivors of the human race it’s the day-to-day struggle of what’s gonna happen next as the threat lies above their heads. Howard, however opens up to Michelle to reveal that he his a deeply flawed human like so many us actually are, but leaves enough open to still question his sanity and the passing of events.
10 Cloverfield Lane is a fun thrilled ride that makes its final act count, as this is where the money went in its giant and epic filled finale. All three actors provide superb performances. Mary Elizabeth Winstead shines as a woman who lost her way to an unknown destination and continues to be criminally under utilized in the Hollywood machine, whereas Chameleon John Goodman stands out as a broken human with a hidden heart of gold locked up in Fort Knox. John Gallagher JR is the everyman who struggled to get by in life and caught up in the wrong situation at the wrong time.
As far as the Oscars are concerned and Goodman’s name it; it’s too early to tell as the 2015 Oscars have recently come to a close. Titles do get forgotten as the media magnate that is Hollywood releases hundreds of films per year and no one truly knows the performances forthcoming let alone the quality of films we’re about to enjoy in the remaining 8 months of 2016.
Shot on a Micro Budget 10 Cloverfield Lane is a win for JJ Abrams Bad Robot Productions as it not only fits the usual Abrams programming, but also enhances it. As the film is one of those rare surprising suspenseful gems that will be forever remembered as a cult classic. As far its connection to the 2008 film, its sight unseen.