Set in 2019 after a series of escalating natural disasters caused by global warming have ravaged our planet, the nations of Earth have come together to create a global disaster prevention system nicknamed “Dutch Boy” that can manipulate and control our worlds weather. Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) was responsible for design, creation, and oversight of the project until his dismissal for refusing to follow the proper chain of command and disrespecting those who work to enforce it.
Years later the United States who to this point have been responsible for Dutch Boy’s operation, are set to hand control of the system to the United Nations. Coincidentally weeks before the hand over unusual weather related events and disasters caused by the system begin occurring around the globe killing thousands. With only one person capable of fixing the problem before the deadline and more importantly before anyone else is hurt Jake Lawson is brought back into the fold. Can Jake fix the malfunction before a chain reaction results in the formation of a geostorm? Is there a malfunction at all? Could it all be the result of foul play?
Just so you know, I’m not going to tell you the answer to any of those questions here.
Geostorm is the directorial debut of Dean Devlin who also wrote the film, and up until now has been a producer contributing to films both good and bad such as Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot, and Independence Day: Resurgence. The movie is very much in the same vein as disaster films like San Andreas, 2012, and The Day After Tomorrow, but shares a sentiment with the latter addressing both the potential and worst case results of global warming.
The film focusing on brothers Jake and Max Lawson (Jim Sturgess) I wasn’t surprised that it took the time to explore their relationship that for the most part has been fairly one-sided, however I was surprised at how well it was done. A scene set prior to the main events of the film establishes characters traits for the brothers that are present throughout, sets up a subplot conflict between the two, and when they next meet plays into a great setup payoff moment for even later on.
Gerard Butler and Jim Sturgess share the spotlight and have the screen time divided between them, each playing an integral role in the story from vastly different locations. While the pair delivered performances that were more than adequate, the standout for me was Talitha Bateman. The young actress portrayed Butler’s daughter Hannah Lawson and unfortunately only had three scenes of any substance, a few small cuts to and from during the climax, and narrated the films beginning and end. Unfortunately Ed Harris suffers from typecasting making his role in the film highly predictable for anyone that has watched a movie in the past decade, and the film as a whole does suffer from some questionable dialogue at times.
The visual effects as you would expect from any movie with a budget over $120 million are great for the most part. During a scene featuring a massive lightning storm the picture becomes rather hard to follow due to extremely rapid lightning strikes causing the picture to white out. I recommend caution for anyone that cannot handle flashing lights during that scene as it lasts slightly too long.
To the best of my knowledge the film did not receive a critic screening, or it has an embargo up until its release date, both of these are usually bad signs for any film, additionally the movie has not been scored on rottentomatoes.
In my opinion its a fun over the top movie that sends an incredibly relevant message despite its exaggerated story, features some positive uplifting themes, and will keep you entertained with its mix of seriousness and stupidity 7/10.
Geostorm is showing in cinemas worldwide as of October 20th.