Geostorm: Turd Machine Takes On Climate Change
It's the 4th of July and before we get to grilling and knocking back a few brews to celebrate Independence Day, I decided to watch a movie this morning instead of the closed markets. Dean Devlin's directorial debut Geostorm is a steaming pile of garbage. The writer/producer has delivered some big box-office wins in the past with Universal Soldier, Stargate, and Independence Day, but fails miserably in this dreadful science-fiction yarn about super-accelerated climate change (think The Day After Tomorrow on steroids) and a giant machine built to control the world's weather.
If you recognized this plot it's likely because dozens of low-budget cable movies have been made with this exact premise. In this iteration, Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) is the genius that saved human civilization through the creation of 'Dutch Boy' a series of satellites that monitor the Earth 24/7/365 and quickly act to neutralize any potential extreme weather event.
There's some drama with Jake's younger brother, Max Lawson (Jim Sturgess), and the hackneyed inclusion of President Andrew Palma (Andy Garcia) just to up the planetary stakes. The characters are entirely made of plywood and the dialogue is so cringeworthy that at certain points I was rooting for the weather machine to wipe out all of humanity.
10 Things I Learned Watching 'Geostorm' In 3D (2017)
1. The scene in this movie poster did not remotely come close to happening. Actually, Butler is only on the planet for just a few minutes out of the entire debacle. His daughter Hannah Lawson (Talitha Eliana Bateman) was also not in any danger at any point during the film, aside from the existential threat of the world ending in a mighty Geostorm.
2. There's a lot wrong with Geostorm but the special effects were solid eye-candy. Watching the movie in my home-based 3D did not enhance the effects much, but it did make the poor performances by just about everyone involved a bit more noticeable. Butler underacts in scenes with his brother who overacts. It's almost difficult to keep emotional equilibrium throughout the film without the aid of a mood stabilizer.
3. If you build a network of machines that control weather, it's not a good idea to put a self-destruct mechanism inside the entire contraption. It appears that misuse of 'Dutch Boy' was the only possible way to create a Geostorm. The machine even dispensed Geostorm warning messages throughout the movie. For some reason the self-destruct mechanism was not able to be shut off under any circumstances, for a problem only the machine could create. I felt like ripping my hair out in clumps at this point.
4. Eating microwave popcorn with that nasty butter flavoring became my own gastric Geostorm.
5. Sexy Brazilian women in bikinis can out run the weather.
6. If you spend over $100 million on a movie, you might want to invest at least some of that on a script. The cast isn't terrible, yet the results are a catastrophe. Solid dialogue and character development can enhance the grand spectacle of cities reduced to rubble, massive explosions in space and a race to save the planet. The reverse is NEVER true.
7. Robert Sheehan plays top computer programmer Duncan Taylor. I've been watching for Sheehan to break through since his scene-stealing days on Misfits. Terribly miscast and poorly used in Geostorm, Sheehan teamed-up with Devlin again in Bad Samaritan which I have not seen.
8. Sometimes you should take Rotten Tomatoes aggregate scores seriously.
9. I wanted the Earth-killing weather machine to win.
10. I really wanted the Earth-killing weather machine to win.
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The Valley Report