Movie Review: Geostorm is the Wrong Kind of Disaster

Movie Review: Geostorm is the Wrong Kind of Disaster
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Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. He is a graduate of Journalism from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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If you’re looking for exciting, expensive escapism at the movies this week, Geostorm isn’t it. Atrocious dialogue, questionable effects and recycled plot points means the movie is missing anything special.

In this current age when Hollywood studios are producing more and more average films hoping to turn profits, one wonders why Geostorm was made in the first place. Director Dean Devlin (producer of the Independence Day series) makes his directorial debut with the film – though it’s never clear why.

The story is set sometime in the future when the world fought against natural disasters by building a totally implausible network of satellites. The system is controlled by the United Nations and the ISS through – science? (it’s never really explained) to prevent disasters.

Naturally, a bad person tries to take over the station and cause global chaos with the weather. When an accident occurs, it’s up to brothers Jake (Gerard Butler) and Max (Jim Sturgess) to work in space and the White House to prevent mayhem and solve the mystery.

The screenwriting tries too hard to be cool instead of interesting, and it becomes annoying fast. Butler and Sturgess show minimal personality, though they don’t have much to work with.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

While the spoken lines are poisonous to the seriousness of the story, they are occasionally redeemed by the natural disasters. Some other CGI work, like the spaceship launch, is clearly fake – though some are well done, like the fiery earthquake in Hong Kong. Even so, it doesn’t amount to anything more than nifty at best.


Devlin doesn’t show any moral meaning to the mix of weather storm/political drama/space adventure movie he’s made. The cool special effects and scenes on screen aren’t just shallow because there’s no reason. It also makes them wasteful.

The tagline for the movie is “Some things weren’t meant to be controlled.” But the film ends with the world being saved by people controlling the weather! The actual events contradict the very “theme” the story claims to show.

An inconsistency of theme and a lack of originality doom Geostorm within the first 20 minutes. Instead of being smart like The Day After Tomorrow or awesome like 2012, there’s nothing charming or entertaining about Devlin’s vision for the movie.

One more thing: if you still want to go, beware the volume and heavy flashing lights. There’s one scene with a car chase in a lightning storm that lasts about six minutes, and beyond the lazy camerawork, the non-stop flashing white lights gave me (and another audience member) a painful headache. Those with epilepsy should stay far away.

Everyone else should wait another week or so when the rollout of holiday blockbusters begins at the cinema. If it’s a dazzling night out you want, go stargazing instead. Real nature has significantly more to offer than the fraudulent Geostorm does.

1 1/2 out of 4 stars

PG, 109 minutes. Disaster Epic.
Directed by Dean Devlin.
Starring Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ed Harris and Andy Garcia.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.


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