When you go to see a movie like Geostorm, you typically know what you are getting into. Something catastrophic goes wrong, humanity as we know it is at risk, and our heroes have to save it; all the while, we as the viewers are treated to scene after scene of cities and towns just getting absolutely destroyed.

When you think about films like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, you often don't remember the (typically flat) plot or characters, you remember the destruction, and the overall struggle of humanity vs nature (or aliens, or whatever). That is what makes a good disaster movie!

However, Geostorm commits the cardinal sin of a disaster movie; it doesn't feature nearly enough destruction, and when it does, it seems disinterested in it. for the first two thirds of the movie, the majority of screen time is spent as a whodunit political thriller, with forced family drama thrown in.

The basic plot of the movie is as follows; in 2019, climate change has gotten so bad that natural disasters ravage entire cities and kill millions regularly (don't worry if you don't want political, environmentalist preaching; this is only mentioned in the first minute). To remedy this, an international team of scientists led by Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) designs a satellite network nicknamed "Dutch Boy", which counteracts dangerous weather patterns before they can get started.

The movie begins with someone hijacking "Dutch Boy" to use it as a weapon, and so Lawson, previously fired for being a PITA, is brought back on to save the world from destruction once again.

Warner Bros. Pictures via YouTube
Warner Bros. Pictures via YouTube

Unfortunately, the destruction isn't nearly as important, as the majority of the film is spent by our main characters trying to determine who exactly is using "Dutch Boy" for evil. As we reach the climax of the movie, we start to see more and more action (my favorite scene was when Dubai gets swept over with a tidal wave), but it's a little unsatisfying, and the reason why is why I believe Geostorm fails on a conceptual level.

My favorite disaster movies all have one common theme; they involve a dire threat, one that is the result of nature, or something else beyond humanity's control (asteroids, hurricanes, aliens). In order to combat the threat, humanity needs to come together as one and stand in the face of extinction, and say "No!".

Geostorm doesn't have that. Instead, it has a human made threat, wielded by humans for petty gain. Even though the weapon of choice is nature, it isn't the same. It's missing what makes disaster movies so cathartic, so triumphant, and so...well, fun.

Is Geostorm the worst movie I've ever seen? No. It's not even the worst disaster movie I've ever seen (that would be a tie between 1998's Godzilla and 2002's Eight Legged Freaks). However, unless you really like Gerard Butler and awful one-liners, I'd skip this movie.

See the trailer for Geostorm below.


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