"Cloverfield" is a movie that’s been generating buzz ever since the debut of the ingenious trailer. After months of Internet hype and speculation, it turns out Cloverfield is the name of the meadow where Jane Austen wrote her best work. THIS is her story.
Produced by JJ Abrams and written by Drew Goddard from "Lost," "Cloverfield" at first bears the stamp of director Matt Reeves, whose previous credits include a number of episodes of "Felicity." All the attractive twentysomethings here look like they walked straight out of a hipstser ad campaign. But they’re all pretty good actors, most notably TJ Miller as the camera-wielding Hud, Jessica Lucas as Lily and Michael Stahl-David as Rob. He’s about to take a job in Japan, and this is his going-away party.
"Cloverfield" has no soundtrack, no back story, no subplot, no narration. We stay with the group as something attacks Manhattan. Even with the handheld camera gimmick, the production values are impressive. Even at a brisk 82 minutes, "Cloverfield" comes close to wearing out its welcome. And some of the hand-heldshots defy the conceit of the film, unless somebody taped the camera to his head. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun with this inside-out take on the monster movie. It’s "Blair Witch Project" meets "Godzilla," with a handful of tension-relieving laughs, a reasonably grotesque monster and a cast we can root for. "Cloverfield" isn’t revolutionary, but it’s almost as creative as its own marketing campaign. I had a lot of fun.