I’ve got to start by telling you I wasn’t holding out much hope for Geostorm and that’s for quite a few reasons. Firstly, Gerard Butler’s career has been on a bit of a slide recently.
Last year was particularly rough for the Scotsman, with London Has Fallen and Gods of Egypt receiving less than 2 stars here at Movie Metropolis. Secondly, Geostorm has had one of the most turbulent productions of any blockbuster in recent memory.
It actually completed main shooting in 2014 but after a negative audience reaction, it’s release date was pushed back numerous times and costly reshoots were drafted in to sort out the presumed mess. Now, in Autumn 2017 it’s arrived. But what’s it like?
After an unprecedented series of natural disasters, the world’s leaders banded together to create an intricate net of satellites to control the global climate and keep people safe. But now, something is wrong: the system built to protect the planet is attacking it, and it becomes a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone along with it.
Sounding like something straight from the SyFy channel, Geostorm’s premise is utterly ridiculous but disaster movies have never been particularly well-known for their deep, meaningful and accurate storylines. In fact, some of the very best films in the genre, Deep Impact, Armageddon, Volcano wrestled with significant plot holes – audiences don’t care about that when they can watch the planet getting destroyed.
Morbid, right? Most definitely, but the same applies here. The special effects are so darn good, as a tidal wave obliterates Dubai, and the action interspersed at the right intervals, that the lack of cohesive plot and at times hideous and expositional dialogue really doesn’t matter.
The cinematography by director Dean Devlin (in his first feature film) is really rather good. It’s not ground-breaking but considering 95% of the movie is CGI, he works with green screen well and the script’s twists and turns make it a damn sight more interesting than the majority of 2017’s blockbusters.
Gerard Butler is actually very decent, but there is a lot more talent on offer here than you would first expect. Ed Harris is always dependable and Andy Garcia plays a President similar to Morgan Freeman’s turn in 1998s Deep Impact. It’s cheesier than a Dairylea triangle, but that’s exactly how disaster films are meant to be.
Geostorm channels those brilliantly camp disaster movies from the 80s and 90s beautifully. Dante’s Peak, Earthquake and Volcano can all be felt here. It takes itself a lot less seriously than 2015’s San Andreas, and has a decent sense of humour to boot.
The scenes on-board the International Space Station are a little dull and to be fair, for a film titled Geostorm, there could be a little more ‘storming’ going on, but it’s a fun, throwaway film that requires nothing but your mind to switch off.
Overall, despite a ridiculously turbulent birth, Geostorm is an honest film. Sure, it’s premise is plagued by plot inconsistencies and the characters aren’t fleshed out enough for us to care about their fates, but it’s a rollercoaster ride of special effects and disaster, which I’m not ashamed to say, I really enjoyed.