Release date: 20th October 2017/Watch the trailer here
It appears that Geostorm is a film that has been doomed to fail from the very beginning: originally due to be released more than eighteen months ago, the natural disaster movie kept on getting pushed back and rescheduled until it finally received a release date – which, unfortunately, happened to coincide with some of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. And things only get worse for Geostorm – because, to the surprise of absolutely no one, it’s not a very good film, either.
With natural disasters on the rise in the near future, multiple nations band together to commission ‘Dutch Boy’, a system of satellites designed to control the climate on a global scale. Three years later, however, and the satellites that were designed to save the planet begin to attack it instead, triggering a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out humanity. The fate of the planet rests in the hands of two estranged brothers: Jake (Gerard Butler) and Max Lawson (Jim Sturgess), who attempt to investigate the cause of the malfunctioning satellites before it’s too late.
What follows is every natural disaster movie cliché and every ‘things go wrong in space’ movie cliché combined and crammed into one, less-than-two-hour film. It’s so predictable that you could probably accurately guess the ending before it’s even started, and as a result, there’s no real sense of threat, no matter how many tornadoes, tsunamis or giant hailstones it throws at you along the way. Geostorm has clearly tried to veer from the well-trodden path, paved by the likes of The Day After Tomorrow, by throwing in a sci-fi element that ends up being more fiction than science, rarely making any sense and frequently asking its audience to suspend their disbelief (although nothing is as unbelievable as Gerard Butler playing a scientist).
So, no, it’s not very good: bad CGI, a clunky script with cringeworthy dialogue and some terrible acting from all involved combines to make a film that feels more made-for-TV than big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. Still, it’s not quite as bad as it could have been: it’s entertaining enough and knows when it’s time to wrap things up. However, disaster movie fans will likely find themselves frustrated by the large proportion of Geostorm‘s runtime that’s dedicated to dull subplots such as Jake and Max’s strained relationship or Max’s Secret Service Agent girlfriend Sarah (Abbie Cornish), in some laughably weak attempts at character development. When the best thing that can be said about it is ‘it could have been worse’, it’s painfully obvious that the struggle Geostorm went through to be released simply wasn’t worth it.