WARNER BROS. PICTURES (2017)

 

Director: Dean Devlin

 

Starring: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia, Richard Schiff, Robert Sheehan, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez

Hold up SyFy Channel, Hollywood is here to take your crown.

 

Independence Day, Stargate, The Patriot – all decent movies. The link between them? Dean Devlin was the producer (that’s a key word) on them all. Include other efforts such as Godzilla and Independence Day: Resurgence into his blender and there’s a seemingly obvious connection through his movies (The Patriot aside). Devlin’s directorial debut, Geostorm, follows on from his previous disaster efforts and sees the world once again in peril.

 

Unfortunately, this is more Annihilation Earth than anything else.

It’s 2019 and the world is at risk of being overcome by extreme weather conditions. A system of satellites, under the name of Dutch Boy, has been commissioned to counteract the worsening weather. Shanghai is next for a massive hit, until Jake Lawson (Butler), the chief architect, defies his superiors and activates the satellites, saving Shanghai in the process. His act of selfless heroism ends up getting him fired and replaced by his slimy brother Max (Sturgess). Because, of course. Three years later, Afghanistan becomes engulfed in ice and Hong Kong begins to erupt from beneath the surface – Mother Nature is pissed.

 

Jake is called back into action, thanks to the President of the United States, Andrew Palma’s (Garcia) call for action. As Tokyo falls foul of the weather, it becomes clear to the heroes that something nefarious is happening as the combined investigations of Jake, Max, Secret Service agent Sarah Wilson (Cornish) and satellite supervisor Cheng Long (Wu) continue to fall short. Their access to the satellite systems has been revoked and the threat of a geostorm is now very real – a global apocalypse of nature. Someone is behind the data breach and the world may just end because of it.

 

Dun dun duuuuuuur!

 

Geostorm is terrible. Thanks for reading!

 

Disaster movies were popular in the Nineties – Armageddon, Deep Impact, Volcano, Independence Day (Mars Attacks…?) – and they enjoyed time at the top table of cinema. The Naughties gave us Poseidon and The Day After Tomorrow. Now, Geostorm picks up the mantle of overly-cheesy, CGI bathed movies regarding the world’s imminent demise. Its problem is it fails to embrace its corniness and instead attempts a disaster-mystery-conspiracy angle which falls flat at every turn. It would be remiss to expect A-Grade dialogue and acting, so don’t – the script is poor and the acting is lamentable. The story is tired - another naff dad with a nauseating child has to save the world, a convoluted plot that doesn’t make sense in amongst the horrendous dialogue and silly subplots – Abbie Cornish’s morals and love life, the kid who whales on her dad and the conspiracy arc is lacking – the baddy is glaringly obvious as soon as they are introduced.

 

There’s a moment where an area of Afghan desert has a trail of snow leading somewhere into the near distance, so naturally, the giant military team all look down with a collective “what the…?”, only to literally look up and “holy moly!” A big frozen settlement which we must have missed as we approached! Sigh. Also, if molten lava begins to rise from the road mere feet from your car, wouldn’t the car tyres melt into the road? Little things. Maybe I can’t suspend my disbelief as much anymore? No, that’s not it. It’s just not well written. This is no more evident when, after having his methods questioned regarding saving the world, the President replies, “…because I’m the goddamn President of the United States!” – because...‘Murica!

 

Someone is ejected into space and nearly dies in the cold abyss, only to be asked, “Are you all right?” in the tone of a patronising school teacher. It has to be seen to be believed. Not just that, Jake’s daughter has her moment to shine as Jake’s ex-wife worries he is caught in the chaos on Earth, step forward Talitha Bateman with, “he’s not there…”, E.T. finger, OTT whisper dramatics, “…he’s there!” (referring to the ludicrous space station).

 

The acting is subpar, Gerard Butler continues his steady stream of shit movies that must pay well, whilst Abbie Cornish delivers another drab performance (following 6 Days). Jim Sturgess slimed across his scenes like Mr. Adulterer, and I couldn’t care less about the characters fates come the end of the movie. Shame on Ed Harris for appearing in this.

 

The CGI isn’t half-bad at times, to be fair. The destruction scenes generally look poor, however.

 

There’s just nothing decent to be found here. All the worst bits were in the trailer, the EVEN worse bits are in the movie. Now, maybe I’m being overly harsh, after all, this isn’t Oscar-bait etc., but Geostorm is just…dumb. No accusations of cinema snobbery needed here, it’s just a naff movie that’s twenty years too late. There’s no flair to make the silliness work, the narrative doesn’t work, the humour is off and everything just feels outdated.

 

Dean, it’s not the Nineties anymore. Move on.

November 16th 2017

© 2016 Matt Hudson / What I Watched Tonight / Essex

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