The clearest indication in the early goings of Geostorm that we’re dealing with a strictly science fiction disaster-movie universe is the notion that in the year 2019 the president of the United States looked around and thought, “Huh, this climate change is really getting out of hand. Better do something about this!” It’s a stunning, revelatory conceit, one that grounds us firmly in the wacky alternate universe where we’ll spend the next hour and forty-nine minutes of our life. Sadly, it mostly goes downhill from there.
I’m putting this one in the stack with The Mummy as another example of a film that left me wondering just what exactly people are looking for when they watch something like this. It nowhere near deserves the wretched 11% Tomatometer score it currently holds. It does nothing new at all with its outer space settings, Gerard Butler seems to alternate only between angry and confused, and Zazie Beetz steals every scene she’s in to the point where you’re almost embarrassed for the rest of the film around her. But even with that being the case, Geostorm is also kind of a bait-and-switch, with the approaching extinction-level event “geostorm” being the action movie backdrop to … well, something else entirely. It starts out looking like Armageddon but ends up reaching more for Watchmen or Seven Days in May territory. So I’m giving them points for trying on this one. I’ll even throw in a bonus for it being the most unintentionally hilarious film of the season.
Unfortunately, Geostorm has no idea what to do with these elements. For such a massive, literally earthshaking political gambit and subsequent cover-up operation, the villains involved suffer from a complete lack of motivation. There’s a reason for what they’re up to, but that’s not quite the same thing. But hey, at least they tried to go weird with it, which I will always appreciate.