Dan's Review: "Geostorm" is an inconvenient stupidity
Oct 22, 2017 10:24PM ● Published by Dan Metcalf
Gerard Butler and Alexandra Maria Lara in Geostorm - © 2017 Warner Bros.
Geostorm (Warner Bros.)
Rated PG-13 for destruction, action and violence.
Starring Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris, Andy García, Richard Schiff, Alexandra Maria Lara, Robert Sheehan, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez, Zazie Beetz, Adepero Oduye, Amr Waked, Talitha Bateman, Billy Slaughter, Tom Choi.
Written by Dean Devlin and Paul Guyot.
Directed by Dean Devlin.
There are dumb science fiction movies, dumb political dramas and extremely stupid action movies. It’s quite a feat to pull off a movie that covers all three genres with equal stupidity, but the folks behind Geostorm have apparently succeeded.
Gerard Butler (who hasn’t appeared in a single movie worth watching since he presented the world with his oiled abdominal muscles in 300) stars as a “scientist” named Jake Lawson, who is in charge of a huge network of space satellites (called “Dutchboy”), developed to artificially control the Earth’s climate, because you didn’t recycle (or you flushed too often, or didn’t buy a hybrid car, or Trump or something), and don’t you feel guilty? Jake is kind of a lone wolf who doesn’t like or get along with the “suits” in Washington who, despite benefitting from Jake saving the world by leading an international team of scientists to save the world, are more interested in micromanaging their saviors than just being cool about it. So, they get Jake’s younger brother Max (Jim Sturgess), who works for Secretary of State Dekkom (Ed Harris) to fire him. Max also happens to be in love with Secret Service Agent Sarah Wilson (Abbie Cornish), who is assigned to guard the president (Andy Garcia). Two years after his dismissal, Dutchboy begins to malfunction, killing off several unimportant villagers – so Jake is reluctantly rehired to find the glitch. He heads back to the International Space Station to lead a new diverse team of international scientists, led by Commander Ute Fassbinder (Alexandra Maria Lara) to get to the bottom of the problem. Jake soon discovers that a sinister virus designed to kill off millions of people has infected the satellites. He enlists Max and Sarah to kidnap the president in order to get the “kill codes” needed to shut Dutchboy down and reboot the system. Meanwhile, the Earth’s climate approaches critical mass that could trigger a “Geostorm” as Max, Sarah, the president and millions of hapless victims try to escape all sorts of bad weather events, like sudden freezing, intense heat, lightning, tornadoes, tidal waves (which, incidentally, are caused by earthquakes, not weather) and buildings that explode when hit by lightning. It’s a race against the clock as Jake works to reboot the system as the space station self-destructs (because, why not?) and Max uncovers the person behind the evil plot to reshape the world and usurp all power (you won’t be shocked by whodunit).
Unless you didn’t catch the conspicuous and snarky vibe from my description of Geostorm, you probably already figured out my feelings on the movie. I could sum up those feelings with one word: Stupid. Even if you discount the flimsy pseudo “science” of Geostorm’s premise, there’s an overabundance of lame dialogue, unlikely behavior and absence of any kind of chemistry among the cast. Gerard Butler’s performance in the leading role doesn’t really help, either.
Geostorm takes its place among several other equally inane global disaster movies, like The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, The Core, Deep Impact, Armageddon, Independence Day, and others (you’ll notice that Geostorm writer/director Dean Devlin has been involved in many of these movies). When “The Environment” is depicted so comically bad, it doesn’t help solve any global pollution problems, and perhaps galvanizes those who think environmental concerns are a bunch of hooey any way. We’ve seen so many movies in which the “End of the World” chases the heroes that it cheapens any balanced discussion on the environment and global climate. Every year that passes, we can’t help but notice that the end didn’t happen as it does in the movies, rendering such alarmism as pure fantasy.
So please do what you can to help the environment, because we’d all like a cleaner world. In the meantime, you can take solace that the world probably won’t end up as disastrous as Geostorm even if you don’t have enough cash to buy a Tesla right away.