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Review: Geostorm

Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures

Director: Dean Devlin

Writer: Dean Devlin & Paul Guyot

Starring: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Alexandria Maria Lara, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia, Eugenio Derbez

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure

Rating: PG-13

Though I was not expecting much from this film, it certainly had numerous problems in the areas of character development, plot holes, and undertones that were significantly forced into the story throughout.

Content Guide

Violence/Scary Images: Large weather patterns destroy cities and people at a fast pace, some gun violence here and there but nothing too extreme. One character is pushed into oncoming traffic and is brutally killed in the process.

Language/Crude Humor: One F-word can be found along with other swears, but the swear content is very little.

Sexual Content: Max and his girlfriend Sarah are in bed together kissing but that is as far as it goes.

Drug/Alcohol References: Small drinks of alcohol are seen.

Spiritual Content: To a certain degree, mankind controlling the weather can be seen as playing God in regards to what happens when and where and for how long. It is a very interesting topic as they also make that assumption with science as a whole.

Negative Content: Betrayal, global genocide, and murder take place. While it is not intense in regards to violence, it is dark nonetheless to see characters act in such a way.

Positive Content: Brotherhood and a search for the truth and justice play a heavy role both with the older brother in space and those back on earth. This film also circles around the concept and idea that humankind standing strong together is the only way for the world to move forward.

Review

When it comes to weather disaster movies, it is my guilty pleasure to watch them, from The Day After Tomorrow (2004) to Twister (1996). There was something about being entrapped in the dangers of nature that came off as thoroughly interesting. When the trailer was released for Geostorm, I was not expecting high ratings, but I was definitely open to seeing it. After watching it, I can honestly say that I regret my decision.

One of the main reasons why weather disaster scenes are intense and entertaining is because the main character(s) or supporting character(s) are within the weather disasters trying to escape, as seen in The Day After Tomorrow and even 2012 (2009). In Geostorm, it is primarily the bystanders that are caught in the weather disasters along with some supporting characters that are hardly focused on. The problem with this is that audiences are hardly connected to bystanders, even when they are getting killed by the weather disasters. It is not as interesting nor entertaining to see them struggle to survive or even survive. Hardly do we see main characters fighting for survival during the weather and if we are, it’s more in action style.

If there was anything I enjoyed about past disaster films, it is that the characters were interesting and even worth investing in. One, in particular, was Dennis Quaid’s fatherly character in The Day After Tomorrow who searched for his son during the blizzard and freezing storm in New York City. While Geostorm‘s cast was not even close to the overdramatic cast in 2012, this film overall has uninteresting characters with little to no development. We are quickly given an overview of what each character has done, how they got to where they are now, and that’s basically it. No groundbreaking development, no trials that change them, and so on. Only in small moments do these characters significantly stand out, and by small, I mean that you will need a microscope to see just how small it really is. By the time the film comes to its end with the final climactic scenes, the damage has already been done to not care or feel empathetic for them.

The idea of fiction is that it is not real. That being said, just because it is fantasy, doesn’t mean that explanations should not be provided. In certain dangerous moments on the space shuttle in Geostorm, there was no explanation given in regards to how the technology works when so much as been damaged let alone destroyed. The amount of deus ex-machina moments occurred so often that it really didn’t come as a surprise in the end.

It is understandable that the film had political undertones regarding the climatic weather changes in the past 1 to 2 decades. While some of the political moments were interesting and exciting, other parts came off as very forced and very obvious as to who the film was targeting in the real political field. When these moments came about, they became very anticlimactic, uninteresting, and to a point, unbearable.

According to multiple news sources, this has been one of the worst opening weekends in film history let alone just this year. Geostorm was a definite contributor to this unfortunate drop this past weekend. Uninteresting, predictable, and anything but entertaining. If you have not seen past weather films such as Earthquake, The Day After Tomorrow, or Twister, I definitely would recommend them above this anytime and any day.

By Trey Soto

Trey Soto holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Biola University, emphasis in Interpersonal/Rhetorical Theory. He has been a Film Critic/Analysis for over a year at Geeks Under Grace and other websites such as Temple of Geek. In his spare time, he enjoys comic book literature, screenwriting, production assistant freelancing, photography, cosplay, and hosting his own film podcast T.V. Trey on Podbean and iTunes.

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