MOVIE REVIEW: Geostorm takes disaster genre to new lows

24th October 2017 12:00 PM
Gerard Butler and Alexandra Maria Lara in a scene from Geostorm. Gerard Butler and Alexandra Maria Lara in a scene from Geostorm. Warner Bros Pictures

IF YOU assembled all of the most cliched moments from Hollywood's big disaster films, then you'd come up with something as truly awful as Geostorm.  

Gerard Butler's latest action role pits him against scheming politicians, a bossy younger brother, a computer virus and the challenges of explosions and flying debris in space.   

The film is set in the near future, when the world's countries have united against the global threat of climate change and super storms to create a preposterously large network of satellites designed to control the weather.  

Using a vaguely described combination of technologies, these satellites are able to dissipate thunderstorms, kill tornadoes in their tracks and cool heat waves.   

And this powerful tool, managed by the US since it went into operation, is about to be handed over to an international team - what could possibly go wrong?  

Gerard Butler and Alexandra Maria Lara in a scene from Geostorm.
Gerard Butler and Alexandra Maria Lara in a scene from Geostorm. Supplied

Days before the handover, the system nicknamed 'Dutch Boy' starts to attack Earth, freezing people in their tracks and heating up gas pipelines, causing them to explode.  

Butler's Jake Lawson is sent up into space to investigate the malfunction of a system he created. It's a tad awkward as his younger brother Max, a government bureaucrat who fired him several years earlier for his authority issues, is now in charge of the program.  

It's not hard to guess what happens from here. The 'malfunctions' are actually part of a sinister plan to throw the Earth into chaos by creating a giant geostorm (an unstoppable series of storms that feed off each other).  

Abbie Cornish and Andy Garcia in a scene from Geostorm.
Abbie Cornish and Andy Garcia in a scene from Geostorm. BEN ROTHSTEIN

Not sure who to trust, the two brothers finally work out their differences for the sake of the planet with a little help from Max's Secret Service agent/girlfriend (Abbie Cornish), space station boss Ute (Alexandra Maria Lara) and young tech wizard Dana (Zazie Beetz).  

The talents of Robert Sheehan (Misfits), Amr Waked (Lucy) and Eugenio Derbez (How To Be A Latin Lover) are mostly wasted in their supporting roles as crew members aboard the Dutch Boy space station.   

This film was originally scheduled to come out last year, but after poor test screenings Warner Bros ordered re-shoots. Whatever they fixed up, it wasn't enough.   

You may find Geostorm to be 'so bad it's good', but I just found it plain bad.     

Amr Waked and Eugenio Derbez in a scene from Geostorm.
Amr Waked and Eugenio Derbez in a scene from Geostorm. Warner Bros Pictures

 

Geostorm

Stars: Gerard Butler, Abbie Cornish, Jim Sturgess, Andy Garcia, Ed Harris, Robert Sheehan, Zazie Beetz.  

Directors: Dean Devlin, Danny Cannon  

Rating: M  

Verdict: 1.5 stars