According to my favourite reviewer, Mark Kermode, Geostorm “takes stupid to a whole new level. You can feel any sense of intelligence you have sort of seeping out of your ears as your eyes roll backwards and you think…this whole thing is one gargantuan joke.”
Oh, boy, I can’t wait!
And having seen it, I know what he meant. It’s definitely one of those films where you have to turn your brain off so it won’t get hurt. There’s just so much wrong. I don’t know what’s worse: the notion of Gerard Butler playing a top scientist with his trademark tough-guy-don’t-care attitude, the cutesy moments or the idea that any computer programmer would build a system that requires presidential codes to do something as important as reboot.
Despite that, I found the film a lot of fun. I like disaster movies. They are simple, human interest adventures where the good guys win in the end, even if the cost is high.
There’s an opening narration that explains the basic plot: after global climate change gets out of control (next year, natch) the world comes to its senses and stops fighting over the oil long enough to design and build a global satellite network that kills extreme weather events before they can get started. Gerard Butler led the team that built it, but the film open with him getting fired for punching an inspection officer being rude to a senator. Or something. Weirdly, his little brother has just got the job of his boss, so I guess being fired has it’s upside. I wouldn’t work for my sister for any pay. Three years later, stuff starts to go wrong. Because of course it does…
The rest is half typical disaster movie and half really poor conspiracy thriller. It never quite makes sense although, given the current inhabitants of the White House, its not as unrealistic as it would have seemed a couple of years ago. The film never quite hits the target its aiming for. Disaster movies work because we care about the people in peril; here the people affected by the “geostorm” are unknown to us. Conspiracy thrillers depend on fast pace and focus; here the focus is constantly interrupted by other story threads. And there’s a scene near the end that…well, I guess it was supposed to be poingant and emotional, but I just found it embarrassingly funny,
And yet, for all it’s faults, this film was just plain fun. If you enjoy this kind of film (think Armageddon, 2012 or San Andreas), you will probably enjoy this one. Disengage brain, try not to think about the gaping plot holes and just go with it. It’s quite a ride.