Geostorm (2017)

Geostorm wasn’t directed by Roland Emmerich, the man behind many iconic disaster movies, but by Dean Devlin, the man who wrote many of those iconic disaster movies.

It plays like an attempt at a “best of” those movies, its ludicrous premise (Gerard Butler goes into space to uncover a political conspiracy sabotaging a satellite system that controls the world’s weather) stitching together sequences that could have been pulled from “Independence Day” (right down to a city’s destruction focused entirely on a dog), “The Day After Tomorrow”, and so on.

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It is a profoundly stupid movie, but often an enjoyable one. Gerard Butler pitches himself at the appropriately shlocky level, Andy Garcia and Daniel Wu are enjoyable enough, Ed Harris delivers an extraordinarily bizarre monologue towards the end…the brotherly relationship with Jim Sturgess’ character is terrible and sags the film down as it all too frequently returns to it, if the movie had doubled down on the shlocky elements it would have worked much better.

Apparently much of the more self-aware (I think?) shlock was added in extensive reshoots to up the quip factor. As is, the film feels weirdly bent towards being a more serious political thriller. With as insane a premise as what it has, that seems the wrong lane to go down. I mean the plot essentially amounts to “turn it off and on again”, the serious tone suggested by the first trailer and apparent principal photography just seems so at odds with the premise. It’s a confused movie, but there’s laughs to be had meeting it on its own nutty level. Two satellites, and a fishing rod.

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