I have been looking forward to this movie ever since I first heard about it in 2014. The premise was simple but it was already two separate films, A satellite engineer tries to save the world from a storm of epic proportions caused by malfunctioning climate-controlling satellites while his brother attempts to thwart a plan to assassinate the President. I mean how could any one say no to a movie like that? A few months ago, a teaser trailer for the film came out and it was exactly what I’d hoped for all these years. So did the film hold up?
Yes and No. I was excited for this film because right from the start I knew it was going to be a play by the numbers disaster movie coupled with a play by the numbers save the president movie, and it was. Tick. I knew that there would be some very clichéd moments and lines that would make you cringe. Tick. I also knew that no to expect anything wildly out there from a first-time director and that he was probably just going to go through the standard checklist for any film in this genre. Tick. Tick. Tick. But he missed something…
There were not enough storms in Geostorm. There were a lot of VFX shots of the space station that the main character was on but I would have loved to see more storms. Is it really a global disaster movie with only two tidal waves and one of those is then instantly frozen? In that respect the film falls a little short of expectations for me. While the B-story involving the President was silly and gave a lot of fun moments, it would have been good to see an actual Geostorm. The film went in to production in late 2014 and then went under re-shoots after poor test screenings in late 2015. So they had a long time in post-production and it shows. The film looks pretty good for the most part the odd weather effect was a little fake looking but you come to expect that from a movie like this. The re-shoots though didn’t impact on the film as it didn’t feel disjointed as productions like this can sometimes lead to.
Gerard Butler plays an American version of himself in this film, which is pretty standard for him these days and that’s fine, because we know what to expect. (This film did have me thinking what if they got Nicolas Cage to be the lead, it would have made the movie worse but in a great and entertaining way). The supporting cast including Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish and Alexandra Maria Lara all do play the role they needed to but not much more. The acting on whole is mediocre with no one really standing out, everyone does their job and within the world of Geostorm everyone seems to fit, even the “goddam President of the United States” (yes, that’s a line from the movie). Which brings me to the writing.
I usually describe these sorts of films a box-tickers or checklist movies, it does the job they need it to by using every trope people have come to expect from the genre. They might add one extra detail that might change it up a bit, but that is another feature of the checklist – Make it different. Someone I saw the film with said that in the conference room where they were developing the story, they must have had a no idea is a bad idea policy, because this film tries to be everything. The dialogue is clichéd, the characters don’t progress that much and they use the movie title far too much (although it is one of my favourite things when a movie does that).
I don’t want to criticise this movie that much because I think it know what it is and it knows what it wanted to achieve and for the most part, it did that. It is an example of a film that you can switch off to and have fun. (I feel I’ve said that about a lot of films this year, this movie is more fun than The Mummy and WAY better than Transformers: The Last Knight.) It’s not worth a $20 movie ticket, but if you can get a cheap ticket to see Geostorm take it! It is not a cinematic masterpiece, not in any way but it is an enjoyable adventure through the disaster movie tropes.
Geostorm (in my opinion, the current holder of Popcorn Movie of the Year), hits cinemas today! Don’t forget to leave a comment on what you thought of the movie!