Geostorm: Movie Review


By: Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

For every beginning, there is an ending. Such it is for every human being that is born and so it will be for our very planet. There have been plenty of films that have dealt with potential or even major global destruction, from Armageddon to Deep Impact. But what about a film that sets out to prevent global destruction once it has begun? Such is the foundation for director Dean Devlin’s feature film debut, Geostorm.

When nature became violent and started to decimate the world’s population, the nations came together to create a system to fight back. Jake (Gerard Butler) was the creator of Dutchboy, a network of satellites spanning the globe and controlling weather patterns. Years passed, and Jake was dismissed from his position, but now something is going wrong with the system, and if left unchecked, could lead to a worse disaster than what they’ve been preventing. Senator Dekkom (Ed Harris), on orders from the President of the United States, President Palma (Andy Garcia), recruits Jake’s younger brother, Max (Jim Sturgess) to head a team overseeing Dutchboy and to bring Jake back in to find out what is going wrong. Will Max be able to recruit his brother, with whom he had a previous falling out, and fix Dutchboy before things get worse, or will Mother Nature take its revenge on humanity? The clock is ticking…

Geostorm plays as any other natural disaster type of film. A problem is noticed, with the potential that things came only become epically worse, and a team is recruited to thwart the threat before the world ends. Pretty simple set up. Geostorm plays like if Armageddon and The Day After Tomorrow had a baby. You have much of the film taking place in space while all the destruction happens down on terra firma. The problem is, most of the time, the natural disasters don’t even feel reasonably believable. Huge, larger-than-a-tsunami’s waves just appearing in the United Arab Emirates out of nowhere. Or how about 50 tornadoes suddenly touching down at the same time in India, following the street paths like they have to stay in their lane and obey traffic laws, because that’s what tornadoes do, right? Today’s audiences are smart. No longer will cheap, over-stimulating action sequences appease. We need more of the real threats and fear that we could see happening in our daily lives. And at no time do we ever feel that the main characters are ever in any real danger. Even when you think they may have died, we know they haven’t.

The acting is what you’d expect in a film of this nature, where character development is about as necessary as the plot. Gerard Butler is the main character, and doesn’t really delve much further than what we see on the outside. Is it just me, or does Butler’s career feel like it’s been in a downward spiral since 300? From the moment we meet his character, the tone is set for what we’re about to experience: not much. Jim Sturgess is given a little more to work with in terms of character, and he does what he can with the few tools he’s provided with. Ed Harris and Andy Garcia are, more or less, afterthoughts and only there to help progress the narrative early on and late in the film. The only other person with some significant screen time is Abbie Cornish, who plays Max’s wife, Sarah, a Secret Service member for the President. She, too, is given few tools but makes what she can out of her character.

Why disaster type films keep getting made is beyond me. I can’t remember the last one that was actually successful at the box-office – probably Armageddon in 1998. Geostorm’s plot is overly simplistic, the bad guys are known early on, the story can’t decide whether to be a drama or a comedy, and the action sequences are hardly believable. This feels like a paycheck film for everyone involved and plays like something that would be made directly for the Syfy network. However, I would say it’s probably better than Sharknado, but that isn’t saying much. If you plan on heading to the movies this weekend, pick anything else but this.


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