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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 24, 2017

Geostorm Movie Review: A Combination Of Disaster Flick, Action Film And Political Conspiracy That Lacks Cohesiveness

‘GEOSTORM’ is from Director Dean Devlin, the Hollywood writer-producer of such films as “Independence Day”, “Stargate” and “Godzilla” who has a Pinay mom. He now goes into directing in “Geostorm”, which he also co-wrote and produced. A futuristic disaster movie, it’s about extreme weather disturbances that cause heat waves, tornadoes, hurricanes, freezing weather and tidal waves.

Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler), a topnotch engineer, leads a team of international scientists to find a solution and this leads to the construction of Dutch Boy, a network of satellites that help monitor the earth’s weather conditions to immediately respond to any threatening situations. The name is derived from the story of a boy in Holland who stuck his finger into a leaking hole in a dike that could flood their entire town.

Jake is forced into retirement when politicians meddle into the project and Dutch Boy was then given to his younger brother, Max (Jim Sturgess), for supervision. Three years pass without any problems until a village and its people in an Afghan desert are suddenly decimated by extremely icy climate that freezes people on their tracks, similar to what Elsa does in “Frozen”. Then, a scientist inside the controlling International Space Station is suddenly killed in a mysterious accident followed by massive underground explosions in Hongkong.

U.S. Pres. Andrew Palma (Andy Garcia) is in a quandary and his Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom (Ed Harris) asks that Jake be brought back into Dutch Boy to help find out what the problem is and save the day. There is initial animosity between estranged brothers Jake and Max but Jake accepts the assignment because he is closely connected to Dutch Boy.

He is brought back to the main space station to work with its female commander (Alexandra Maria Lara). They must now race against time to discover the reason for the escalating catastrophes that are killing millions of people all over the world.

Max has to do his own investigation and realizes that Dutch Boy is being used by some factions with their own selfish motives in controlling and sabotaging the satellite. Slowly, he unveils the conspiracy that leads him to the corridors of power. Of course, we cannot reveal the details to you so as not to spoil your viewing pleasure.

To add drama to the proceedings, aside from the bickering brothers, we also meet Jake’s 13-year old daughter who’s praying her dad will comeback to her intact after saving the world, and there’s a forbidden romance involving Max and a female Secret Service agent, Sarah Wilson (Abbie Cornish), who’s tasked to secure the safety of the U.S. President. Later on, Max and Sarah will be partners in crime in kidnapping the president to save the world.

If you’re a fan of disaster flicks, you might enjoy the sight of a Florida convention center exploding like the White House in “Independence Day”, or people getting frozen like statues as freezing air blows in like it’s a new Ice Age. For added sentimentaliy, there’s a touching reunion between a boy in India and the lost dog he’s searching for.

As a combination of disaster flick, action film and political conspiracy, the special effects are quite convincing, but the film could have worked better if it were more smartly written. Everything comes out as something routinary and we’ve seen the disasters shown in it before in other films, like “Twister”, “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Deep Impact”, “Volcano”, “The Impossible”, “San Andreas”, etc.

Gerard Butler (a Brit like Jim Sturgess, but here, they play Americans) is his usual defiant self previously seen in “300”, “Olympus” and “London Has Fallen”. He just has no respect for sleazy authority figures. All the other actors, needless to say, pale in comparison to him, particularly the often reliable Ed Harris who, unfortunately for him, is assigned a truly thankless role.