I have limited time each week to see as many movies as I can. This weekend it came down to a choice between “The Snowman” and “Geostorm”. Due to the chilly buzz I’d been hearing on the Michael Fassbender slasher thriller I decided to go with the weather armageddon thriller instead. Walking out of the theater the first thing that came to mind was: “”The Snowman” couldn’t be this bad.”
“Geostorm” had been in the works for years. Filming actually began in October 2014, with “Independence Day” writer Dean Devlin in the feature film director’s chair for the first time. Poor test screenings led to the release date getting pushed back multiple times. In addition, Warner Bros. and Skydance brought in Jerry Bruckheimer at the end of 2016 and spent a reported $15 million on reshoots.
Chalk this up as the classic case of throwing good money away. None of the script or scene changes prevented “Geostorm” from becoming a disastrous disaster movie.
The weak premise lamely tries to play off the current Global Warming debate/crisis. In the not-so-distant future, astro-engineer Jake Lawson (played by Gerard Butler) and his international crew create a satellite system that now controls and moderates weather activity on the planet. No more hurricanes, floods or blizzards. It may have put all meteorologists out of work, but it’s a big success.
However, a few years following its launch the system begins malfunctioning, causing weather catastrophes around the globe. It’s up to Jake and younger brother Max (Jim Sturgess), who works for the President, to solve the mystery and save the world.
Every cliche in the “Movie 101” handbook is included in “Geostorm”. We know which “good” characters are bad way before the characters do. And the countdown clocks are timed-out all too perfectly. The overall lack of flow can likely be attributed to the fact that scenes were shot years apart.
The visual effects are awful. The zero gravity space sequences are overly misty, clearly to hide the ropes the actors are hanging from. And I swear I could see the rim of the bathtub in which the skyscraper flood sequences were shot.
The acting here is on the bad network TV show level, though much can be blamed on the corny script. At one point Andy Garcia, who plays the President, responds to a fellow character about why he just did what he did, by screaming, “Why? Because I’m the Goddamn President of the United States of America!” Ed Harris, no stranger to space movies (“Apollo 13”, “Gravity”), phones it in as the Secretary of Defense. His presence only brought me back to “mother!” I’ll hold that against this film as well.
“Geostorm” is almost one of those movies that’s so bad its entertaining, as you eagerly await the next ridiculous thing to happen. But not quite. So instead you’re left rooting for the apocalypse to come and wipe-out everything in its path, especially every print of this film.
On The Official LCJ Report Card, “Geostorm” gets a D-.
Running Time: 109 min.