Geostorm has been bombarded with negative reviews by critics and viewers alike and I was very apprehensive going into this film. But it turned out to be quite an enjoyable fare. The film tells the story of a satellite system called “Dutch Boy” that has been made by the US in collaboration with 17 other counties to deal with gross climatic anomalies. It has the power to bust through storms, tornadoes and other similar natural destructive forces. After years of running successfully, the system suddenly starts malfunctioning resulting in catastrophes. To find out what went wrong, the government sends back the man who led the team that built it.
Jake (Gerald Butler) is jilted at the way he was fired from his job on “Dutch Boy” by his own younger brother Max (Jim Sturgess) but agrees to help. Max, who is the head of operations of the project, carries out his own investigation into the anomalies while Jake tries to pinpoint the source of the problem on “Dutch Boy”. As they dwell deeper and deeper into the mystery surrounding the anomaly, they realize that there is a bigger game afoot.
For a film like this to work, it needed a fairly intriguing plot which it does. There is enough meat in the story to keep you interested through the duration of its runtime. There are some good surprises and twists and turns that caught me off-guard. The screenplay also takes you in a certain direction and then suddenly you realize that you were coerced into believing something that is not exactly the case. These things work well for the film and help keep the interest in the proceedings.
Visually speaking the film is satisfactory. It’s very difficult to overtake precedents left by films like Gravity or for that matter 2001: A Space Odyssey and it is foolish to expect anything of that level from a film that plans on being nothing more than a popcorn entertainer. Going by its standard, it does have good visuals. It must also be reiterated that Geostorm had to look real to affect us with the plights of the people from which most of the seriousness of the film comes and it is somewhat successful in doing that. I guess that’s enough for a film like this.
Gerald Butler sleepwalks through his role. There is no earth-shattering drama or Oscar-worthy nuances. It is a film that wanted to utilize his charm and it does so. He does what he does best in films like this. Act and look cool in whatever it is that he is doing. I liked the act of Abbie Cornish who plays a secret service agent with insane tacky-ness. Jim Sturgess huffs and puffs in scenes where he had to and also in those where he didn’t have to. I found his act laughably bad. Ed Harris is his uber cool self. The man owns every frame that he appears in.
The film’s biggest drawback apart from its pedestrian approach to the storytelling and total lack of urgency is the final reveal of the bad guys. Their motives are so muddled and 3rd grade that it is bound to put a smile on your face. It must also be noted that after building up quite well to the last 15-20 minutes with twist and turns and generating a sense of interest in who the bad guys might be and how powerful they might be, the whole situation fizzles down to one punch on the face.
Geostorm is an enjoyable fare if you are willing to accept it for what it is. Keep the expectations low and you might just like it.