There are very few things scarier than a natural disaster. The sheer power contained within these storms, droughts, and floods is something we as humans have difficulty containing. Now what would happen if that power could be harnessed by humans, manipulated to our whim in order to keep our world acclimated and functioning perfectly? Could such a thing be used for good, or would it merely be repurposed as a weapon? This question is the key concept in my next movie review, titled Geostorm, the latest disaster flick to “storm” into the theaters. Pun aside, Robbie K is back for another overview, so let’s get started, shall we?
The Sound: My first like is the incredible sound editing Geostorm contains within it. These editors “blew” me away with the fantastic renditions of Mother Nature’s torment, capturing all those destructive sounds and unleashing them into the theater. Lightning filled maelstroms, horrendous fires, and bone chilling ice storms all drop with mighty blow, causing the theater to rumble in delight. This effect may not seem like much, but it really rounds the experience out and immerses you into the havoc.
The Visuals: No surprise here, Geostorm’s visuals are also beautiful displays of technology. We know this genre is all about making disasters look real, and this film brings that power out with little hesitancy. Watching destruction unfold is breathtaking, as the terrifying mayhem of the manmade storms unfold, helping you experience the horror without actually being there. Geostorm’s displays, although limited in number, are the selling point of this film, especially during the exciting moments when our characters are trying to navigate their way through the destruction.
Acting: Sometimes these disaster movies tank on the cast, resulting in whiny, nimrod characters who are asking to be sucked up into a twister. Not the case for this film. Geostorm’s cast is actually fantastic in bringing their characters to life, and also brings an awesome team to the mix to diversify the genre. Gerard Butler was a solid choice for the lead, combining action gruff with scientific strategy to craft a tough as nails character to lead the project. This dynamic nature made a fun hero to root for while seeing him evolve past his flaws. Jim Sturgess does a bang-up job in his role as well, playing the role of the neurotic congressmen forced to choose between family and job. His character required a much broader class of emotions, and he manages to hit all of these with little trouble. As for the female leads of Abbie Cornish and Alexandra Maria Lara, these women were incredible displays of girl power in the modern world. No super powers needed here, for these women have intelligence, ferocity, and heart as they tackle all the demands this movie placed on them, and all with a realistic touch. I wished they had utilized them a little more, but they maximized their screen time.
The Story: Despite how cheesy it looked, Geostorm’s story was better than I expected. The characters have some backstory not lost to the storm, requiring them to grow much like the threat of total cataclysm. During the actual presentation itself, Geostorm is nicely divided into four sections each occurring simultaneously and playing important roles to the dilemma at hand. Throw in a little mystery to figure out the culprits, and you have a more engaging story line than we typically see in these films. All in all, they managed to execute this ridiculous concept quite well for me.
Storm moments: Despite the promise of major cataclysm, Geostorm is surprisingly bare of storm sequences for much of the movie. Many of these scenes are in the background, with only a few having that thrilling, on the seat edge. In addition, despite being thrilling, these moments get a little too ridiculous, the sheer unrealistic maneuvers violating the science without the technology to do so. While I appreciate, the disasters fitting into the movie, they still needed a little refining.
The Predictability: Geostorm tries its best to throw you off the trail to the culprits, but the trailers and obvious foreshadowing will give you the answer within the first 30 minutes. In addition, the fate of other characters is not surprising at all, mostly because they figure things out minutes within the film. Had it not been for the visuals and exciting pace, the story would have been drab and put me to sleep. I’ll admit there was a nice little uncertain moment, reminiscent of a few other flicks you are certain to remember. Past that though, it’s a predictable mess indeed.
Underutilized team: Like many films, our protagonist becomes part of a special team in charge of fixing the problem. Unfortunately, after the introductions, most of the team is essentially useless save two members who actually get more screen time. While not as bad as the gang from Wonder Woman, this group just didn’t feel needed in the grand scheme of the picture and could have been utilized in a more conducive environment to add a little more suspense in the mix. Either that or cut the characters to help the budget.
Despite the cheesy idea, Geostorm was a welcome change to the natural disaster movie collection. Stunning special effects, a Sci-Fi Esque story, and dynamic characters are certain to entertain fans of this genre and bring with it a nice twist. However, if you are looking for a storm movie, you need to pick another tale as the disasters are a minimum or overly cheesy to be believable. Throw in some weaker story elements and predictable plot, and you further weaken the storm they were trying to bring. Overall not a bad film at all, and the special effects are more than worthy of a theater visit. Otherwise check this one out when it hits home release.
Movie Overall: 6.0