‘Geostorm’ results in Geo-Drizzle

October 28, 2017

For all the science that is supposed to serve as the foundation for "Geostorm," there is very little that is clever about the film.

While the future of increasingly catastrophic storms certainly seems grounded enough in reality, the idea that we can somehow hack the atmosphere and control it with strategically placed "cloud bombs" (not the term used in the movie, but makes just as much sense as anything else) seems far-fetched at best.

And the fact that the film is set in 2019 (giving us about one-and-a-half years to construct this global weather safety net) moves the reality goalposts much further away.

Since this is a film directed by Dean Devlin, who helped destroy countless parts of the globe as the writer of both "Independence Day" films and the 1998 version of "Godzilla," the simultaneous global devastation in "Geostorm" is merely a logical career move.

The creator of this weather-tweaking satellite system is of course the only man who can fix it, but he's too hot-headed and prideful to play nice with others, which leads him to be kicked off his project. This worldwide savior is played by Gerard Butler, who does more wrestling with an American accent here than he did with an entire army of Persians in "300."

Butler is about as believable a genius satellite designer as Denise Richards was portraying a nuclear physicist in "GoldenEye." But he is far from the worst part of "Geostorm." When you opt for that title, you better bring on the destruction, dammit.

While there are a few cheesy sequences of encroaching waves, winds, hail, and other atmospheric stalkers, the film devotes more time to a lame conspiracy involving a mole and a bunch of American agents scrambling to look at codes and computer screens.

The weather-related destruction is reduced to some passing clouds, when all is said and done.

Instead, we are given scenes of international actors (many portraying Americans, and grappling with accents that cover the entire East Coast) who run away from weather. So, if you've been waiting to see a smart car escaping an earthquake or taki eluding a lightning storm, then perhaps this is your kind of disaster flick.

All of this would be fun if "Geostorm" did not take itself so seriously by trying to tether its story to some sort of stitched-together family drama (Butler's character was fired by his own little brother, who also happens to be dating one of the president's secret service agents).

It does not have to bend to "Sharknado" levels of absurdity, but it also never finds the dumb-fun balance of a film like 2015's "San Andreas."

The forecast was way off for "Geostorm," and we are left merely with a Geo-Drizzle.

  • Rob is the head of the English and Communications Department at Delaware Technical Community College, where he teaches film. He is also one of the founders of the Rehoboth Beach Film Society and is lead entertainment writer for Influx Magazine. Email him at