10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
(directed by Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)
**** (out of 5)
> At the beginning of this highly successful thriller, a woman is assaulted and held captive… Oh no, I thought. Not this again. (ROOM notwithstanding), I am so tired of the “vulnerable woman in jeopardy” genre, I could spit. But when her captor is revealed to be the great John Goodman, and we begin to get a glimpse that throughout this movie- nothing is quite the way it appears, interest is perked.
. Director Dan Trachtenberg shows a strong, steady hand in his debut feature. This spinoff from 2008’s CLOVERFIELD is very well constructed, and I found it far more memorable than its predecessor. Good thing! Had I clearly remembered CLOVERFIELD, the ending of 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE would have had a small fraction of the impact. Producer J. J. Abrams envisions it as part two of a trilogy, the final chapter due sometime in 2017.
. The great John Goodman looks uncomfortably ginormous in every frame, and his laboring wheeze is heard in every line he speaks. Because I love this actor’s work so much, I found it distracting. I’ve been worrying about his weight gain for years. The great news is that he’s slimmed down considerably since this film was shot. By all accounts he is much healthier now, and weight loss will help him get outside the box obese actors are put in. Hopefully we’ll be seeing him for many years to come, and perhaps in a greater variety of films. I hope so- he is really dynamite here, as a man who may be a kidnapper, and may be a good Samaritan, merely trying to protect the woman from an unspeakable apocalypse that has transformed the earth.
. The final reel was a blast. I figured out the ending only seconds before it was revealed, because I was too involved in the storytelling to analyze and forecast. And the ending beautifully set up the third film. Whenever GOD PARTICLE hits the screens, I am so there!
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