Geostorm (2 stars)

Geostorm

Gerard Butler stars in this ridiculous disaster movie from the writer of Independence Day

A geostorm, according to Dean Devlin's daft sci-fi / disaster movie co-written with Paul Guyot, is a chain reaction of catastrophic weather events around the globe. This may be Devlin's debut as a director, but as a writer and producer on Independence Day and the woeful 1998 version of Godzilla, he's got form with cheesy special effects punctuated by even cheesier soap opera histrionics.

In a future where weather conditions have dramatically worsened, satellite architect and all-round space cowboy Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) has designed Dutch Boy, a global thermostat control device, protecting our planet from climate change. A frozen village in Afghanistan, a heat surge in Hong Kong and various other anomalies convince Jake and his brother Max (Jim Sturgess) that deliberate sabotage is to blame. Jake heads off to space to investigate, while Max persuades his Secret Service agent girlfriend, Sarah (Abbie Cornish), to exploit her proximity to President Palma (Andy Garcia) and find out who would gain politically from the end of the world as we know it.

A synopsis of a film originally shot in 2014, then partially re-shot with a different director can only be expected to sound garbled. Devlin doubles-down on the melodrama to ridiculous effect, with the POTUS dishing out marital advice to Max from the backseat of a speeding car on a collapsing highway, and Jake enjoying bonding sessions with frosty space-station commander Ute (Alexandra Maria Lara). Such silly beats only interrupt the flow of expensive-looking CGI, the film playing out like a whistle-stop global tour to casually gawp at the deaths of untold millions before America saves the day.

Clichéd codas like a little Indian boy reunited with his lost dog in the rubble do nothing to create investment in Devlin's folly. Bombastic and noisy, yet minuscule in emotional heft, it's a geostorm in a teacup.

General release from Fri 20 Oct.

Geostorm

  • 2 stars
  • 2017
  • US
  • 1h 49min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Dean Devlin
  • Written by: Dean Devlin, Paul Guyot
  • Cast: Abbie Cornish, Gerard Butler, Mare Winningham
  • UK release: 20 October 2017

Satellite architect and space cowboy Jake (Butler) has designed a device to protect our planet from climate change, but it’s sabotaged. Ridiculous melodrama of cheesy CGI punctuated by cheesy soap opera histrionics, with untold millions dying in eco-catastrophes until the US saves the day. Windy nonsense.

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