Geostorm (M)

In a Word: Weathered

Geostorm

SAVING THE WORLD: Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) and Ute Fassbinder (Alexandra Maria Lara) star in Geostorm. PICTURE: © Warner Bros.

 

"It's a predictable storyline to say the least and despite apparently involving the global community is, like its many predecessors, very much a US-centred film in which other nationalities only play bit parts."

The latest in a string of climate-change inspired disaster flicks, Geostorm brings plenty of action but as is the want with the genre, little of any substance.

Directed by Dean Devlin, the story centres on the development of a technologically advanced global weather shield system known as 'Dutch Boy' which involves a complex system of weather-controlling satellites controlled from the now much-expanded International Space Station. Built by an international consortium of nations (Australia apparently isn't one of them) after a series of extreme weather events left millions dead in 2019, the new system has initially been under the control of the US but will soon pass into international hands.

Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler), the man who designed and built the machine, is sacked for insubordination to his US superiors, and his brother Max (Jim Sturgess), a key figure at the US state Department, gets put in control on the system in the lead-up to the handover.

But as the date for the handover draws near, things start to go wrong - first a village in Afghanistan is suddenly frozen and then heated air causes gas pipes in Hong Kong to catastrophically explode - and Dutch Boy is apparently the cause. Authorities are at a loss and Max reluctanctly turns to his brother Jake for help.

With little else to occupy him, Jake, who has a complex relationship with his brother and not much of one with his daughter, is rehired to sort out the problem and heads to the space station, promising his daughter to return. Together - with the help of Max's Secret Service girlfriend Sarah (Abbie Cornish) and German ISS commander Ute Fassbinder (Alexandra Maria Lara) - they soon undercover that malfunctions aren't mere accidents but part of a conspiracy to destroy large parts of the Earth which they must then race against time to save.

It's a predictable storyline to say the least and despite apparently involving the global community is, like its many predecessors, very much a US-centred film in which other nationalities only play bit parts. The storyline's just a little ironic given the current US position on climate change - but presumably production started before last year's presidential election.

While the film has a solid cast - Andy Garcia, Ed Harris and Richard Schiff among them, there's little room given for them to show their skill with wooden dialogue and a plot which has a lot to cram into what is not a long-running movie. The emphasis here is on the action, certainly not the actors and certainly not the plot.

The technological aspect aside, you've seen similar versions of this movie before but if you're looking for a couple of hours of fanciful, if hackneyed, escapism packed with dollops of CGI-created extreme weather events, you've found the right film.