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Movie Review: Geostorm

Everyone involved in the making of 'Geostorm' should feel bad for making 'Geostorm'


Directed by Dean Devlin

In Theatres

Geostorm is a bad movie. A bad, bad, bad, bad movie. It looks bad, it sounds bad, the effects are bad, the pacing is bad, the plot is bad, the dialogue is bad, the acting is bad. I can only assume that the catering was also bad. Everyone involved in the making of Geostorm should feel bad for making Geostorm. NASA should feel bad for allowing their logo and offices to be in this movie. Gerard Butler should feel bad whenever he slips into the pool that this movie paid for. I feel bad for having seen Geostorm. And I've watched Fantastic Four and two Fifty Shades movies. 

The worst of Geostorm's many sins is it's boring. So, very, very, very boring. Dull, stale, tedious, lifeless and all the other words on Spending an hour and forty nine minutes surfing would be exhilarating compared to Geostorm. It would also be exciting, inspiring, invigorating, rousing, stirring and thrilling. When this movie finds its way to late night runs on cable TV, it will a fantastic cure for insomnia. Up all night, staring at the ceiling and wondering if you will ever sleep again? Have no fear, Space is showing Geostorm in place of informercials for a better way to open jars. Twenty, thirty minutes top of Gerard Butler's barely cognizant acting and you will be out. 

The film doesn't work as disaster porn. There are too few scenes and too many murky effects. Hell, all the best stuff is in the trailer. And the film also doesn't work as political thriller. The political thriller stuff makes no sense. It doesn't work as a character study. Most of the characters are cardboard cutouts, thumbnail sketches done in crayon. Most of the character stuff feels contrived and cut in to create fake stakes. Now the brothers will argue. And now the younger brother will have a girlfriend in the secret service. Oh, look, the older brother has a genius daughter. The top notch team that will help our hero is like the beginning of a bad joke: a German, an Englishman, a Mexican, a Frenchman, and a Scotsman with a bewildering accent walk into a space station… Geostorm is the kind of movie that seems like it was written by a cheap piece of software, something that was found in a bargain bin with one glowing review with three too many exclamation points written by a defunct entertainment magazine. "It…works!!!!!!" 

Before we get too far into this thing, I want to get one thing on record - I have a healthy love of disaster films. I grew up on a steady diet of Irwin Allen, of Earthquake and The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure. I like it when things go boom and theatre speakers rumble and the seats shake. But there is something about the Dean Devlin school of disaster film that just feels wrong, like putting on your boxers backwards. Geostorm is Mr. Devlin's directorial debut. He was also one of the brains behind both Independence Days, 2012, the 1998 Godzilla, and the only film to make me swear loudly in a theatre, The Day After Tomorrow. They're burning books. What are the books sitting on? Wooden bookshelves. And now they're running from cold? From cold? I mean, come on. How was I not supposed to swear? 


Geostorm has a great cast. Ed Harris! Andy Garcia! Atlanta's Zazie Beetz! The West Wing's Richard Schiff! Control's and Rush's Alexandra Maria Lara! Jim Sturgess! And Gerard Butler! It's the kind of cast that Irwin Allen would put together if he were still alive. Something like a Michael Bay cast but with less Oscar winners. What could have been a big-budget, completely crazy disaster flick with a cast led by great character actors instead ends up like one of those mockbusters that are produced by The Asylum, but without the fun. Think Atlantic Rim or 2-Headed Shark Attack or Almighty Thor, but without the charm. Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, but without the stakes. Geostorm is such a complete mess it comes off as a cheap knock off of a better film. This is the film that premiers on Space after a very special episode of Wynonna Earp. In some alternate universe there is an entertaining movie about weather correcting satellites in space being used for nefarious means and Geostorm is the sight gag on a movie marquee in the background of a Family Guy episode. 

Things you should know about Geostorm: 

- weather correcting satellites in space are making crazy bad things happen on Earth and the science makes zero sense

- bad people are making these bad things happen so they can destroy the world and then rule America and it makes zero sense

- somehow weather correcting satellites in space can make tsunamis in Dubai and giant laser beams in Moscow and gas mains in Hong Kong blow up

- seriously, the science makes zero sense

- one wee secret service agent can kidnap the President of the United States of America in the middle of a political convention

- lightening makes sports arenas and cars explode

- seriously, the science makes zero sense. I'm not kidding here.

- an electric self-driving taxi can outrun a Lincoln Town Car 

- a Smart Car can outrun exploding gas mains and a girl in a bikini can outrun cold and, hand on my heart, the science in this thing makes zero sense

- if you can't figure out who the bad people doing the bad things are and you are surprised by the reveal you should be ashamed of yourself

- the dog is fine but the kid is still homeless in Mumbai

- somehow a movie with exploding gas mains and tsunamis and giant frickin laser beams and girls in bikinis outrunning cold is painfully boring

- if you watch the trailers for Geostorm on a loop for an hour and forty nine minutes you will have saved yourself ten bucks plus popcorn and had more fun than the audiences paying money for this thing


I have nothing else to say about Geostorm. It is a bad movie. A bad, bad, bad, bad movie. And not good-bad. It is bad-bad. If Ed Wood were alive, he would be embarrassed for Geostorm.