Geostorm: Environmentalism for Dummies

Final Rating: 5/10

Right off the bat, I just want to say that I agree with the friend that I bribed into seeing this movie: the pitch for this thing was definitely a prank that went too far and suddenly they had 120 million dollars and had to actually make it.

From Dean Devlin, the guy that brought you Independence Day, the Godzilla with Matthew Broderick and Leverage (which I’ve heard is great???), comes An Inconvenient Truth. IN. SPACE.

Have you ever watched a cartoon in your life? Then you’ve seen this movie.

In 2019, global warming gets so bad that politicians actually start to care (In a movie where buildings topple like dominos and 600 people apparently live on the International Space Station (ISS), THIS is the thing that tests my suspension of belief). Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) plays the One Man Who Can Save Us: an engineer who apparently single-handedly builds a literal net of satellites called Dutch Boy that regulates the Earth’s weather. He’s a dickhead, so he gets fired. Five years later, Dutch Boy starts malfunctioning because someone has infected it with a virus. Unsurprisingly, the government isn’t in possession of schematics, source code or competent workers so ONLY Gerard Butler can save us. Disaster movies like that stuff: the Macho All-American saviour of Earth. It’s flashier than ‘a team of a dozen scientists solve a problem using math’.

Meanwhile, Jake’s brother Max Lawson (Jim Sturgess) tries to unravel the conspiracy of who created the virus. Also, he’s secretly engaged to an impossibly cool secret service agent named Sarah Wilson (Abbie Cornish). She has a distractingly bad American accent, but is amazing in every other way. Honestly, I might be unable to separate the acting from the character because at one point she stunt drives a stolen cab backwards through a car park while shooting at enemy agents. It’s awesome.

There’s a bunch of subplots about Gerard Butler’s inadequacy issues with respect to his little brother being his boss (this may or may not be up to my own interpretation, the movie seems to think that he’s in the right…), his ineffectiveness as a father, Jim Sturgess and Abbie Cornish keeping their relationship a secret because of Reasons, the US handing off the space station to the UN, etc. What I’m saying is: it’s pretty crowded.

Some dumb things that occur in this movie:

–       A guy gets frozen solid and when someone breaks off his hand there’s no bone in it.

–       The satellites can spontaneously start tsunamis as well as stop them. How? Dunno, some bullshit with lasers.

–       Buildings topple sideways, like dominoes. (I know I mentioned this already but that was particularly egregious to me.)

–       The cold chases people.

In the end, Geostorm gets bored with its own stakes. Saving millions of people from hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes and other disasters… bo-ring. The A plot is that the ISS is self-destructing. But, the chaos can only end if Gerard Butler stays behind to reboot it (it’s a whole needlessly complicated thing, don’t worry about it).

I have to give the movie this much: its extended cast is pretty global, even if it does take a very US-centric view of the universe. The consequences were global. They had believable motivation for the villain. I also have to applaud the cast, the script called for some of the most ridiculous dialogue I’ve ever heard and they did not appear to laugh out loud. They were good to the point where they sold a lot of it.

Overall, if this film came on tv in the afternoon and I had some work to do, it would be great background noise.

PS: Geostorm never cares enough to establish what the hell a geostorm even is or why we should be afraid of it, so I still don’t know.

PPS: I just googled it and that’s not a thing, so I still don’t know.

PPPS: Jim Sturgess hasn’t let anyone give him a haircut since filming Across the Universe. It’s in his contract.

About author

Film writer at Live in Limbo. Student, writer, filmmaker, dork. Follow her on Twitter @FictionalizedMe.