Those who go into Geostorm thinking it is about the rise and fall of a popular car from the 1990s will be greatly disappointed. You will also be disappointed if you go in expecting a cheesy weather disaster film like The Day After Tomorrow. You will also be let down if you had to see this film because you lost a bet or felt this was better than sticking your hand in a blender to kill the boredom.
So what exactly is Geostorm?
It is a science-fiction political-espionage action-thriller disaster film, which also had a Hallmark Movie Channel film about dealing with daddy-issues and sibling-rivalry crammed into a giant glob of cinematic poop.
It is a big-budget film that tries to be something but then switches gears and tries something else, decides it doesn’t like that either and tries something new three-quarters into the movie while already doing twenty other things.
To give you a better idea of how “well-made” this film is, imagine that a Roland Emmeric film kidnapped a Michael Bay film, forced it into a Stockholm Syndrome love affair, had a child as a result, and the child was devoid of any cohesive communication skills or sense of fun.
Our story centers upon Jake Lawson (played by Gerard Butler, who for some reason has a puffy cheek, like he had a wisdom tooth pulled out during filming), who created a weather-control device called Dutch Boy. He uses it without government authorization but also manages to stop a tsunami from destroying Shanghai. He is fired by and also replaced by his younger brother, Max (flatly played by Jim Sturgess) due to his “recklessness” and Max takes over the Dutch Boy project.
Three years pass and it appears that Dutch Boy has gone rogue. To figure out why, the government has to get Max to convince Jake to come back and fix things. In between arguing about family issues and trying to resolve them, Jake is also fighting a race against time to fix the satellite before it creates a “Geostorm” – a chain-reaction of extreme weather patterns that will destroy the entire planet. This leads to Jake and his rag-tag band of scientists going all-in to prevent this from happening, as the audience waits for a cheesy Aerosmith song to start playing.
There is absolutely nothing redeemable about this film. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Gerard Butler is at an all-time career low here, as he phones-in a performance that has all the emotional impact of a fart in the dust and none of the charm. Butler is not alone in his suffering, as the excellent Ed Harris somehow got dragged into this mess as well. Presumably he had a bill to pay or a contract to satisfy.
The biggest mystery behind this film is its $120 million budget. One wonders if Bialystock and Bloom had produced this movie because there is no evidence of that much money having been spent in any department. The sets and special effects seem incredibly cheap, particularly the outer space shots, which look like a mix of recycled and rejected scenes from Gravity.
The man to blame for this mess is Dean Devlin, who made his feature-film directorial debut with this film. Devlin is best known for his writing work on Independence Day, Stargate and the 1998 Godzilla. Should you have any further doubt as to the “quality” of Geostorm given that pedigree, know that it is worse than that version of Godzilla.
I cannot recommend this film to anyone. Not even my enemies. I am not that cruel. If given the choice, as in that classic Eddie Izzard routine, between cake or death and then being informed they ran out of cake but you can watch Geostorm instead, choose death. It will be less painful.