Cataclysm itself: A ‘Geostorm’ film review

3.64 over 5 stars.

Geostorm is one film I somehow liked watching, but after scrutinizing the movie in multiple aspects, I found myself realizing how mediocre it was. The sci-fi, end-of-the-world motion picture is a cacophony of disaster flick clichés, too obvious computer-generated (CG) graphics, and underperforming actors. Despite this, Dean Devlin’s feature film directorial debut still has its good points, but they were overshadowed by all the wrong things in this movie.

The Story

3.50 over 5 stars.

Two years from now, climate change worsened and reached its peak, leading to numerous catastrophes that threatened the fate of the Earth. In an effort to save humankind, a team of scientists from across the globe, led by satellite designer Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler), developed and fashioned Dutch Boy – an intricate network of  weather-controlling satellites that enveloped the entire planet.

The survivors recuperated from the calamities, and everything seemed fine. The calm after the storm lasted until the United States Senate dismissed Jake from his post due to traditional politics, and gave the role of leading Dutch Boy to his younger brother-slash-rival, Max (Jim Sturgess).

That was just the beginning, though.

A few years later, a satellite over Afghanistan malfunctioned. This caused a massive drop in temperature, freezing a whole village of Afghans to death. To address this problem and prevent it from happening again, Max convinces Jake to return to space, and lead a team who will seek to find out what went wrong. However, more satellites begin to go haywire, and it seems that this is no longer a mere systems glitch.

As more and more catastrophic events occur simultaneously across the globe, Jake and his team find themselves in a race against the clock. They must find out what is truly happening before the world falls into a geostorm – a series of various disasters of epic proportions that will surely cause the apocalypse.

Will they make it, or will the world end?

***

Geostorm is your typical disaster movie- rather, disasters movie as it does not feature a single disaster alone. It is a combination of tornadoes, tsunamis, hailstorms, eruptions, and freezing temperatures. Sounds scary, right? It does, but the film does not seem such.

This movie is so full of clichés that there is nothing original anymore. Screenwriters Dean Devlin and Paul Guyot dumped a lot of elements into the story that did not go very well together. This made many parts of the story seem weird or too unbelievable. In addition, the quick pace of the storytelling hurt the plot even more. There were a lot of points in the film which made me remark, ‘Oh, that was it?’

Despite this, the film has some good themes. It seems to be a counterattack at US President Donald Trump’s stance that climate change is not real. The film makes the audience realize that climate change is something everyone should worry about as its tragic consequences may occur in the very near future. Moreover, the movie speaks of unity – that in solving one of the world’s worst problems, everyone who lives in this planet, regardless of race, should work together. We must settle and disregard all our differences or else, the world will definitely fall into chaos. Indeed, “united we can.” However, the storytelling was too ineffective at emphasizing these themes.

The Sights and Sounds

3.56 and 4.00 over 5 stars, respectively.

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A plane gets frozen mid-air. Truly, Geostorm is a wild frenzy of unrealistic CG graphics. Photo from IMDB

The motion picture has many heart-racing scenes, thanks to some intense CGI and scoring. Undeniably, Geostorm relied too heavily on its disaster scenes to entertain the audience as many other aspects of the film were meh, including the wardrobe and dialogues. Moreover, many of such scenes felt below satisfactory, especially that many of the CG graphics looked so fake that I tried my best to prevent myself from bursting into laughter a couple of times inside the cinema.

The Starrers

3.50 over 5 stars.

'Geostorm' film premiere, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 16 Oct 2017
Jim Sturgess (left) and Gerard Butler (right) pose like brothers at the recently concluded Geostorm premiere. However, their characters Max and Jake are the complete opposite.

Geostorm is led by an amazing actor, Gerard Butler, who is very well-known for his roles in a multitude of action movies. However, he seemed so-so in his portrayal of Jake Lawson. Even Jim Sturgess Max Lawson was a lackluster performance. Jake and Max just did not seem like brothers. Perhaps you would tell me that this is because of their sibling rivalry, but I beg to disagree. The audience would only know that they hated each other because they kept on saying it throughout the film, and not because the audience would feel it from their actions. Well, so much for “action speaks louder than words” eh?

Alexandra Maria Lara was not convincing as Ute Fassbinder, a space station commander. Also, her supposedly romantic relationship with Jake felt very awkward and unreal. The rest of her team made mediocre performances as well. I wished that their characters were given more time under the limelight. Meanwhile, Andrew Palma was somehow okay as the US President.

On the other hand, Abbie Cornish was awesome as Sarah Wilson, a US Secret Service Agent and Max’s love interest-turned-fiancé.  Her espionage and driving skills were totally insane. Ed Harris was also commendable for his portrayal of US Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom. Lastly, Talitha Bateman’s role as Hannah Lawson, Jake’s daughter, gave some light of the film. Her introductory and closing narrations were plus points to the movie.

***
In general, Geostorm is a massive mishap itself. Many elements of the film, such as the storyline, the visual effects, and the cast, just did not work harmoniously together. Despite this, the film has many good lessons to share.

Geostorm is somehow entertaining to watch in a movie theater. However, if you find yourself having a hard time choosing between this film and another to watch, please choose the latter. No need to say, “thank you.”

Film Score Board_Geostorm

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I and my workmates take a groufie after watching Geostorm at Ayala Malls Southpark Cinema, Muntinlupa City. 

This blog post’s featured image is from the Geostorm official Facebook page.

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