Friday, 9 February 2018

Review #1,301: 'Geostorm' (2017)

It's been happening to major releases for decades, but nowadays near enough every big-budget blockbuster comes with its very own straight-to-DVD knock-off. Recently, cult label The Asylum have released the likes of Ghosthunters to coincide with 2016's GhostbustersKing Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table to sponge off the success of Guy Ritchie's equally terrible King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and even Operation Dunkirk to dupe ill-informed shoppers into thinking it was Christopher Nolan's awards-grabber Dunkirk. When I first saw the trailer for Geostorm, I was convinced that The Asylum had stretched their purse-strings a tad, and that Gerard Butler had finally done the decent thing and stepped away from the big screen. It turns out that Geostorm is actually meant to be a proper movie, and that The Asylum's cash-in was in fact called Geo-Disaster.

With its horrendous special effects, ham-fisted action and completely nonsensical premise, I refuse to believe that I'm the only one who couldn't fathom that this was an actual blockbuster attempt. Geostorm may just be one of the stupidest movies ever made, and the real horror is that the final product is actually the result of 15 million dollar re-shoots after audiences reacted badly to test screenings way back in 2015. If this is a result of expensive re-shoots and a two-year hiatus, then I'm almost curious to see what state it was in beforehand. I can only imagine that the original version wasn't quite as hilarious, although Butler was always attached to play Jake Lawson, the brain-child of a giant climate-controlling satellite dubbed 'Dutch Boy', so it must have been at the very least amusing. Dutch Boy monitors and influences the planet's weather after mankind has ravaged the Earth and turned it into a melting-pot of devastating storms and extreme temperatures.

He may be highly intelligent, but as he's played by Butler, he's also punchy and obnoxious, and has his toy taken away from him by a Senate cub-committee after he refuses to cooperate. Jake's brother Max (Jim Sturgess) is placed in charge instead, but Jake's skills and experience in the field may be called upon again when Dutch Boy starts carrying out seemingly random attacks and threatening to cause a 'geostorm' - a super-storm of which none will survive. Abbie Cornish is also in the movie for some reason, even though she's way above this sort of schlock. Soon after starting to navigate through the unnecessarily complicated plot you will realise that very little of Geostorm makes sense, and you can probably work out who the bad guy is by reading the cast list. However, for all its utter stupidity and boring set-pieces where millions are indifferently massacred by bad CGI, I can never say that Dean Devlin's Geostorm was boring. It made me laugh more than once (albeit unintentionally), and although I say this through gritted teeth, it's moderately entertaining, if brainless fluff.

Directed by: Dean Devlin
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Andy Garcia, Ed Harris
Country: USA

Rating: **

Tom Gillespie

Geostorm (2017) on IMDb

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