Geostorm movie review: Gerard Butler in a predictable and loud disaster movie
The real problem with Geostorm isn’t that it is dumb, it’s that it isn’t nearly dumb enough to warrant a recco.
Geostorm is a disaster movie from the 90s that somehow made its way in theaters today. That may or may not be a good thing depending on your proclivity towards campy fun. Take all the silliness from Roland Emmerich movies, sauté with a generous helping of ludicrous attempts at social commentary and you get this gem of a movie.
The reason for taking Emmerich’s name is that Geostorm is directed by Independence Day and Godzilla (1998) screenwriter Dean Devlin, and he executes this film with pretty much the same set of rules – big, loud and absolutely dumb, meant for the lowest common denominator of audiences.
In the film we have a defense system called ‘Dutch Boy’ which uses satellites to somehow control the weather (hey it’s sci fi, so you can’t question this). But trouble strikes as there’s a malfunction in the system, and the only person who can fix the issues is our hero Jake (Gerard Butler) who is conveniently the guy who invented Dutch Boy and is also the brother of the US President’s advisor Max (Jim Sturgess).
Naturally, things don’t go according to plan, and a Geostorm does hit the Earth, with Jake racing against time to save the world.
The fact that Geostorm comes only a few days after the barrage of hurricanes in the US is just bad timing. Because of the unfortunate timing, hurricanes don’t currently feel very entertaining to watch. So when the film hits you with scene after scene of CGI porn consisting of ‘storm’ footage, it doesn’t exactly wow you.
Moreover, the execution makes the film feel like something out of the Asylum factory of cheesy B movies, but without the self-awareness to make it all a truly worthwhile visit to the theater.
Mind you, there’s a ton of unintentional hilarity, particularly from the subplot of Jake’s brother kidnapping the POTUS along with his love interest Sarah (Abbie Cornish). So if you’re looking for a blast of inanity you’ll find yourself enjoying the film in the same vein as Emmerich’s The Day After Tomorrow or 2012.
You also get rib-tickingly hammy performances from Ed Harris as the Secretary of State and Andy Garcia as the President. The big reveal of who set off the Geostorm and why, is pure comedy gold and so ridiculous you’ll be rubbing your eyes in disbelief, wondering how someone put in millions of dollars in a story with this ‘master plan’.
The special effects are all right but in an era where CGI is so commonplace there’s little here that holds your attention. Moreover we’ve seen this stuff before in films like Twister and 2012. The real problem with the film isn’t that it is dumb, it’s that it isn’t nearly dumb enough to warrant a recco. Director Devlin could have gone all out and made a bad movie classic here, but it feels like an opportunity (apart from the ton of resources) has been wasted.
David Crosby became a star in the mid-1960s with the seminal folk-rock group The Byrds, known for such hits as Turn! Turn! Turn! and Mr. Tambourine Man.
The Sundance Film Festival runs from Jan. 19 through the 29.