And tonight’s forecast for Geostorm; Mostly Cloudy With Some Bright Spells throughout.
Written By: Rick Masters
Earth is beset by natural disasters. In facing adversity, mankind developed a satellite station to prevent these catastrophes. While people overcame this problem. Another conflict arises… it becomes opportune technology to be used as a weapon for global domination.
Like most disaster movies, the parallels to our own present global situation aren’t that far removed from what is showcased here. Technological advancements we invent to solve our crises have a very real threat of also being used against us or creating further dilemma. It’s hugely exaggerated within this film but it was believable enough for me to buy into the plot.
Ill be honest I didn’t expect much from this film, even the name GEOSTORM sounds like a cheap and terrible Nat Geo, straight to TV movie. Plus after seeing the trailers that showcased some of the cheesiest lines found in the film I didn’t have high hopes for this one…. However I found, once the storm had settled, it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.
Performance wise Gerard Butler did a sterling job as the main lead Jake Lawson, if not a little ‘non scientist’ looking. He also has great chemistry with his brother (played by Jim Sturgess) that becomes quite a heavy plot point through the middle half of the film. I personally found Jim’s performance lacking throughout and was by far the weakest link in the main roster of actors found in here. Abbie Cornish plays the top Whitehouse security officer as well as Max’s fiancée is not just a pretty face. While she more than sufficiently demonstrates her acting skills, her credentials for the ass-kicking, tough-as-nails, agent are all here. Jake’s 13-year-old daughter Hannah played by Talitha Eliana Bateman, wins the audience’s hearts hands down and its a shame she didn’t get more screen time, what with her punchy lines and impressive emotional scenes.
Now the main reason people go to see a disaster flick are for the special effects (if its for the deep meaningful story and the oscar winning performances then WHURT? SHUT UP!) and they are plentiful. A handful of mysterious weather disasters early on wet your appetite for what’s to come.
One in particular that occurs in down-town Tokyo was really impressive!
The action then shifts from the un-natural disasters to the mystery of why these errors in the storm controlling device (named Dutch Boy) are happening. And so begins the investigation and brotherly bonding section which tried and failed on making me really care for any of the on-screen characters. We meet the crew of Dutch Boy however the limited amount of time we are given to bond with these characters does very little in making us emotionally connect with them…
The unveiling of the conspiracy did keep my attention though and cliches aside, did a decent enough job in propelling the story along.
The final act features some incredible special effects mixed with some pretty rough stuff too. Some stand out moments include a frozen plane plummeting out of the sky, the space station disaster and the exploding gas lines! Unfortunately many of these scenes we have already seen in previous disaster flicks such as Day After Tomorrow and Gravity. It lacks some originality here which may disappoint some viewers but overall the special effects are sufficient enough considering the scale of the effects present here.
I also found the distance between intentional laughs is far too great, a few at the start, a few at the end… but not to worry as you will find yourself laughing during many of the ‘heard it before’ canned action dialogue scenes, stripped from the shelves of the most generic action movies.
In the final stages the film is at risk of becoming too messy, we jump from country to county, disaster to disaster with little time to focus on any particular moment. The disaster movie cliches then fire at you from all sides, including the god awful ‘doomsday clock’ ticking down, we have the family situations, emotional moments, mandatory fists, guns and car chases, narrow escapes and cheesy one-liners (some cringe worthy) But this is a disaster flick…. It’s what you pay for right?
Its a shame GEOSTORM didn’t try anything different in a genre which is quickly becoming quite stagnant. Special effects were the main draw to these types of film but they are now so prominent in Hollywood that the wow factor has somewhat diminished. If you head into this with your brain turned off and a hunger for some large scale destruction then there is a lot of fun to be found in here… just dont expect a suntan.