Geostorm marks the directorial debut of Dean Devlin, screenwriter and producer of films such as Independence Day and Godzilla (1998). It is a disaster movie about the hijacking of a weather-control satellite system known as "Dutch Boy", but the real disaster is Devlin's terrible script.
Led by the United States, an international coalition works together to combat climate change with the creation of "Dutch Boy", but when it's brought online without proper approval to avert a disaster, its designer and International Climate Space Station commander Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) is brought before Congress. Jake doesn't take kindly to a Senator's questions and his responses end up getting him fired and replaced by his brother Max (Jim Sturgess), although Butler and Sturgess are so different no one would guess they were brothers.
Three years later, an Afghanistan village and its people have been destroyed by frost. With the malfunction undetermined, Jake is brought back and heads to the ICSS. It's not long before he, working with Max, determine the system has been sabotaged and the culprits may go all the way top, including President Andrew Palma (Andy Garcia).
The corruption of “Dutch Boy” is causing so many dire weather changes around the planet it's in danger of causing a worldwide geostorm that will cause countless deaths. And if all the trouble on Earth wasn't enough to keep the audience on the edge of their seat, the tension is ratcheted up once the ICSS' self-destruct function is triggered.
Unfortunately, the audience is left rooting for the destruction. The good guys are bland and boring. There's very little of interest about them and the actors are unable to infuse them with any appealing personality. The dialogue is forgettable and I can't remember any intentional laughs. The bad guys are about the same with the bonus of having motivation for causing all the destruction make no sense, like the scientist who is willing take part in wide-scale mass murder and devastation just for money.
But if it's destruction one wants, Geostorm and the visual effects team at Soho VFX do an outstanding job. The sequences set outside the International Climate Space Station, especially its destruction, are so captivating, I wouldn't be surprised to hear the phrase “Oscar-nominated Geostorm” next year.
As negative as I am on Geostorm, if one still intends to see it, I highly recommend the 4DX presentation, which I experienced at CGV Buena Park 8. The seat motion tracks smoothly with camera movements and also jerks and rumbles during action scenes, which may be too rough for some with sensitive backs.
The added environmental effects are a lot of fun. When the soldiers find snow in Afghanistan, the cold wind (and the wind always blew cold, so I'd suggest a jacket or long sleeves) blew down from the side walls. In the front of the theater, “snow flakes” flitted about, making the film appear in 3D. This effect was reused when desert winds whipped up dirt on screen. The audience also felt a wet mist during rain scenes. When Jake is sent back to ICSS, smoke appeared to a good effect at the base of the screen as the rocket blasted off, but it hung around when the movie cut to Mission Control in Houston, diminishing that scene. If there were any scents, I didn't notice them.
Geostorm is a bad movie, but it makes for a fun ride in 4DX.