If you’ve watched King Kong (both the old and new ones), Godzilla (both the original and the American version), or even Ultraman (any of the Ultramen), you’re brought into their world via the protagonist, who’s always near the monsters. The story is always about how they’re fighting against the monster, but nowadays, it’s all about surviving both the monsters, and the attacks against it. The furthest we have been so far, is via Speilberg‘s War of the Worlds, where Tom Cruise‘s character led his family through the thick and thin of the invasion, caught in the middle of it.
Cloverfield uses the same strategy as War of the Worlds, where everything were seen via the eyes (actually, the camera their holding) of several residents of Manhattan Island, who were caught in between the monstrosity stomping around in Manhattan Island, and the military forces. Wait, did Godzilla camped in the same place? What is it with monsters and major cities? The word “urban jungle” quickly comes to mind.
Not many can stand the ever-moving handheld camerawork that can be seen in home movies, let alone watching it for an hour and a half, but I caught myself gaping at the screen numerous times. I tell you, I was wishing that the guys don’t leave the camera anywhere, so that I could watch a little longer.
Okay, as any full-length review goes, Cloverfield starts when Jason Hawking‘s (Jason) girlfriend Lily threw a surprise farewell party for Jason‘s brother, Robert (Rob). Their best friend, Hud(son) was supposed to document the whole event on tape, when a large tremor was felt, and all hell broke loose.
And to make things worse, Rob just had to save her girlfriend (who just ditched him for a guy that looks like Mika), and the others tote along, after an incident. Things led to another, and we’re led into the heart of the action, thanks to the faithful Hud (just imagine Samwise and Frodo), who just won’t put down the camera, because ‘someone may want to see this’.
So they trotted on deserted streets, across wrecks and debris, across underground (subway) tunnels and collapsed buildings. First, for Rob to save his girlfriend, and second, to save themselves. Basically, that is the story, the whole 90 minutes of it.
Another film that comes to mind when watching this (and saving myself from shame by not vomiting there and then) was the Children Of Men, because of the long takes. The only difference is, that in the Children of Men, SteadyCam was used, so it was far more watchable.
Another notable thing that made this movie more believable, is that the film starts right away. There’s no opening credit of any sorts, since everything was pushed to the end credit. The characters were played well, portraying what we would do in the event of something like this. Except for the part where Rob went back to his girlfriend, which I doubt many would do for theirs, even yours truly have extreme doubts.
Effects are well done, and believable. Mix that with the handheld camera, and how little we’ll get to see the monster itself, transports you directly into the heat of things.
I recommend this movie for all. Just remember to bring a barf bag, just in case.