“Geostorm” stars Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ed Harris, and Andy Garcia. Released on October 20, 2017, the film is about a satellite designer who must prevent a group of climate-controlling satellites from destroying Earth.
The film features the directorial debut of Dean Devlin, who is known for working with Roland Emmerich as a producer. You guys ever notice that a big-budget sci-fi blockbuster like this is releasing in the middle of this year’s Oscar season when it should be released during the summer? I’m betting that they didn’t find a release date that has less competition. This latest disaster film has Dean Devlin attempting to copy off the same success as Roland Emmerich’s other disaster films like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012. While I have my experiences with these types of films, I can easily admit that they’re not exactly perfect since all they do was show off some visual destruction. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy watching things get pummeled into piles and piles of dust, right?
The story takes place in the not too distant future, where an entire collection of nations band together to create a system of satellites to control the weather on a global scale. Remember when they tried to create life? Now we’re watching people take control of the climate changes. God is not going to be happy about this. When the system starts to malfunction like crazy, it’s up to two disconnected brothers (played by Butler and Sturgess, respectively) to band together, find the person responsible for the malfunction, and save the entire planet from a Geostorm. For a plot like this, you can’t get any crazier and simplistic than this…unless you’re Dean Devlin. Now, don’t assume that I’m blaming him for the final result since this is his first effort at directing. I’m only assuming that there were a couple of things that he could’ve explored more in the midst of its ridiculousness and its CGI destruction. It does well to entertain those who wanted a straightforward action disaster flick, but for those who are in a “thinking” mood, they’re better off getting wiped out by a giant flood. One of the things that should’ve been developed better is the film’s central theme. I was hoping that the film will showcase the consequences of playing God in terms of controlling the climate as well as the importance of brotherhood between Butler and Sturgess. While it did express the brotherhood theme, it wasn’t enough to cover up its usual action/disaster film cliches and its underwhelming character depth. Aside from its easy-to-spot flaws, the main cast did a nice job with their performances, especially Butler and Sturgess as the two brothers, and the visual effects on the destruction sequences were pretty impressive. Although, compared to Emmerich’s other disaster films, the awe-inspiring quality of the destruction was severely lacking.
Overall, “Geostorm” was an unfortunate missed opportunity to be a part of the ridiculous, yet fun, disaster genre. The cast and the visuals managed to do their part in entertaining some of its target audience, but in terms of its execution, it’s probably for the best if they leave the climate controlling stuff to God. If Dean Devlin is attempting to move forward with his directing business, this is something that he needs to improve on in order to avoid another critical disaster like this. If you like Gerard Butler or if you’re suddenly in a mood for a “think-free” disaster flick, I would say wait until it’s on Redbox or on television. Less risky that way.