Let me just cut to the chase (as I feel this movie should have) and say that Cloverfield fails to be redeeming on any level except, perhaps, as a near thirty second blip of a trailer that I and others witnessed prior to a screening of the live-action release Transformers last summer. Designed to spark curiosity in its audience based on its omission of content, the trailer to Cloverfield remains to be the film's only indicator that could possibly place it within the realm of this hyper-realistic style of visual storytelling that one sees on a daily basis if one happens to watch "reality television" or stream a video on Youtube (I am pretty sure that this was exactly the intent and feel that the filmmakers were attempting to reach in order to give the film urgency). The shaky hand-held camera combined with loud, uncomfortable sounds coming from off-screen can do wonders for an advertising campaign but does not even begin to sustain itself as an effective (or even a watch-able one, for that matter) form. It irritates, nauseates, and then ultimately bores an audience when relied upon too much.
However, there is an anecdote available to such a conundrum: a sharp script and talented actors—both of which, Cloverfield lacks. From the film's start to the film's end, one hopelessly searches for respite from the annoyingly shaky camera style through the story and characters, but only dwindles down to young twenty-somethings running and screaming on a story trajectory that is just what one would expect from such a shlock film: young man must find young woman amidst the death and destruction, blah, blah, blah, heterosexual coupling, blah, blah, blah...
Needless to say, Cloverfield (based on the trailer that I had seen) had the potential to use a form of visual storytelling that has become so widely accepted as reality that it is, in fact taken for reality to great affect. It could have been a film that carried a social commentary with it. Instead, Cloverfield carries bad acting, awful scriptwriting, and exhausting visual storytelling.