Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Geostorm review

The film, Geostorm, wants you to know that  the international space station  has a self-destruct system. Okay, I know that this movie is supposed to take place in the future. But "Why?" The movie says it's to stop the station from crashing into the earth. But seriously, we know when things in orbit enter the atmosphere, they break up anyway and are burned up. And by the way, the self-destruct system can't be turned off once it's been turned on. What? I say again, "WHAT?!" It does make sense if you're trying to make a contrived, suspenseful plot point. But even then, it's got to make sense. This is one of the problems of Geostorm, the lack of logic.

The movie takes place in the near future. It's a time when the world is working together to control climate change. And in this day of Trump, it's a fantasy. The world has used  technology to control the extreme weather through satellites and they are controlled by the International Climate Space Station. The creator of the life saving system, Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) is testifying to Congress about turning over control from America to the world when he yells, "This is Sparta!" Okay, that's from 300. He shows disrespect which angers his brother, Max (Jim  Sturges) who's some type of government official.

One of the satellites malfunctions and  flash freezes some poor villagers in Afghanistan.  President Palma (Andy Garcia) sends Jake to the space station to fix it before more people are turned into popsicles.    But he finds out that somebody is sabotaging the system.  Hold on.  Maybe this is not a fantasy in this day of Trump sabotaging Obamacare.   Anyway, Jake's got to stop anymore malfunctioning satellites or else there's going to be something called a "geostorm" which is a cool sounding term for worldwide storms that will destroy life on the planet.

I usually comment on performances but what's the point?  The characters are given ridiculous things to say and do.  Abbie Cornish plays  Secret Service agent Sarah Wilson.  She's dating Max though the script says that's illegal.  Huh?  Really?  I  laughed when she pulls out her gun and did some other action things because it was so over the top.  Ed Harris is Secretary of State Dekkom.  He probably wishes he was back in Westworld.   Richard Sheehan is Taylor, a British crew member of the space station.  He's cocky, annoying  and basically a jerk.  You  just wish somebody would flush him out of an airlock or kick him down a well.  Calling Gerard Butler.  Speaking of Butler, he's okay but it's the writing and the direction that hurts this film.

Writer and director Dean Devlin (Independence Day) is competent as a director.  Action scenes and special effects all work.  But it's the writing.  Characters spit out exposition unnaturally.  Jake's daughter literally tells Max that he's not been in her life instead of subtly implying it.  That's telling not showing.    Bad guys are shot with menacing closing shots.  I get it.  He's a bad guy.  The film wants to be some type of political thriller.  But there's not enough of this plot thread.  It spends too much time on the personal lives of the main characters.  I don't care about Jake's daughter.  Okay?  Then there's the  lack of logic and silliness.  Jake goes on a space walk to  retrieve a panel.  Something goes wrong and he's hurtling through space and literally bouncing off the space station.  And get this?  He suffers no breach in his space suit.  Really?  And I forgot this hilarious scene.  A gigantic tidal wave hits the beaches of Brazil.  A bikini clad woman runs from the wave.  As she is running down the street, a jet plane crashes and is about to crush her.  Yet, she is able to outrun it and survive.  Yeah, it's a little overkill.

Geostorm is not bad enough to laugh at.  At best, it's not boring.   It's just a big budget SyFy television movie without flying sharks.  The grade is C Plus.   

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