'Geostorm' review: A drab disaster

I am pretty sure there is a snide political discourse lurking underneath all the loud inanities of Dean Devlin's mostly static Geostorm.

Uninspired blockbuster

Geostorm, which sees a minor character escape incredible cataclysm that probably killed thousands of innocent Hong Kong citizens with the help of an environment-friendly electric car only to end up dead by a speeding gas-guzzling coupe, has an American politician angrily protesting how his great country has turned into the world's open wallet, essentially pinpointing that the cause of the end of the world is not nature's vengeance but American political opportunism.

Devlin's film, with its pessimistic view of the heightened role of dysfunctional America in an impending apocalypse, feels like it half-heartedly aspires to be the first Trump-era disaster film.

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures

Sadly, all possibilities of a Dr Strangelove-style satire for the film is mired by the limits of what essentially is uninspired blockbuster filmmaking.The filmfeels more like an Independence Day riff, except that this film's lionization of America is tempered by an overt distrust over prevailing institutions. Like Independence Day and many of the big-budgeted but small-brained works of Devlin, the film is a second-rate attempt to capitalize on the strange spectacle of computer-generated versions of cities being destroyed within mere seconds.

Given that all of this has been done before and with less of the nonsensical verbosity that makes this film such a slog to watch, Geostorm ends up magnifying the glaring faults and excesses of the genre rather than enriching it with current world relevance.

Two estranged brothers

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures

Geostorm's main storyline of the fate of humanity hinging on two estranged brothers, a rough-on-the-edges scientist (Gerard Butler) and a suit-wearing government type (Jim Sturgess), learning to accept each other despite their differences in world view tries to proliferate family values within the borders of formula but it only ends up failing in the most embarrassing of ways.

The film is funny for all the wrong reasons.

Its drama is skewed and awkward, while its jokes are all awfully timed, mostly spouted as needless banter in the middle of life and death situations. There is a little bit of romance thrown in for diversity but that romance is basically just an excuse to introduce a physically strong female support to counter the film's other women who are essentially there just to walk around the male leads.

The film is a discordant medley of mistakes.

It would have been a lot more enjoyable if Devlin, instead of sanctifying his film with Hollywood-style sentimentality and extravagant but needless fireworks, just surrendered to the fact the film’s conceit when mixed with the juvenile intents of immature characters will never work as a serious product.

Mediocre entertainment

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures

Simply put, Geostorm is just mediocre entertainment.

It lacks the creativity to be anything more than a bland copycat. It lacks the intelligence to be relevant. One puff, and this squall of a film is sure to be forgotten. – Rappler.com

 

Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' 'Tirad Pass.' Since then, he’s been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.