Review: Geostorm | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Review: Geostorm

Film Critic Ellen Macleod reveals that the only real disaster in Geostorm is the script itself

Geostorm is a film based in the near future showing the aftermath of disastrous climate change. In an attempt to stop this the people of Earth come together and built a system of satellites to control Earth's increasingly violent weather. Predictably this weather system, nicknamed Dutch boy, has started attacking the world that it was built to protect. For a film that has so much potential, for every good thing in this film there is a bad counterpart. For instance, the film revolves around two brothers.

Gerard Butler plays our astronaut-scientist protagonist Jake Lawson, and does well despite the cliché-ridden script. Butler has picked up a reputation as a poor actor over his career but this film shows that he is capable of talent.  Jim Sturgess playing Max Lawson, Jake’s brother however is a disaster, he lacks any sort of emotional depth to back up the already poor scripting resulting in a man running around and shouting without gaining any momentum or adding anything to the film. Everything that Butler adds to this movie, Sturgess takes away.

Gerard Butler does well despite the cliché-ridden script

Something similar happens with the female leads in this film. Abbie Cornish (known for Sucker Punch and Limitless) is amazing and one of the best female characters cinema has seen in a while. She prioritises career and duty before love and relationships in a move that is very common in male action figures but never so much in female protagonists. Instead of being torn down for this decision she is almost rewarded by being given the best action sequences in the entire movie and pulls them off effortlessly. She is ruthless, professional and extraordinary, easily the best part of the film. Seeing a well-rounded female character with all the traits typically seen in male action stars is a relief to see in 2017. The other female lead played by Alexandra Maria Lara, however, is an utter failure. Her awful acting drew more laughs than the rest of this films poorly written jokes put together. She starts as a character with potential, as the recently promoted head of the International Space Station. But the minute Butler sets foot on the ISS, she spends the rest of the movie running around after him, making googly eyes, and generally getting in the way like some love-sick puppy.

Undoubtedly the worst part of the movie was Robert Sheehan's English accent

The best acting in the film comes from the young actress Tabitha Bateman. She plays Jake Lawson's daughter and makes herself more than just the object of emotion tying Lawson to earth. She not only adds to his character but brings a new life to her own. Though slightly older than the thirteen-year-old she plays, she brings to the role an emotional, hard hitting maturity that we fail to see in many of her adult co-stars. Undoubtedly the worst part of the movie was Robert Sheehan's English accent. It was worse than laughable and had audience members gaping at one another in abject horror. For an actor known for his role in Misfits and his cheeky Irish accent this seemed the biggest blow of them all. If anything, this film is worth watching just so you can experience it for yourself and understand how truly awful it was.

The quality of the script writing has been mentioned so far in that it was poor, full of awful lines and jokes that never landed. Though the audience laughed regularly it was never with the film but at it. The soundtrack only served to remind you during scenes what the script was supposed to be carrying: excitement, anger, sadness. If a film must rely on the soundtrack to tell you’re supposed to be feeling rather than the ACTUAL WORDS then you know it's not going to win any awards any time soon.

You could argue that this film delivers a message worthy of this point in history: the plot revolves around huge dangerous weather phenomena caused by global warming, and computer hacking and the corruptibility of technology. Both of these things are quickly becoming more prevalent in our lifetimes. In a time of repeated celebrity hacking, Julian Assange and climate change, this film explores themes which are  growing to a point of vulnerability. In the past six months the planet has seen the disastrous ramifications of climate change in Storms Harvey, Irma and Maria, as they destroyed countries and caused billions in damage. These unusually hard-hitting storms mean Geostorm seems surprisingly timely. If it was a better film it might actually serve as a warning but it's many faults make it  easy to dismiss as just another high budget flop.

Verdict: For every good thing there was a bad, for every positive a negative. And with better script writing, CGI, and casting this film could have been an 8 out of 10. Ultimately, however, the bad outweighs the good. I did not watch this film, I was subjected to it.

Rating: 3/10



30th October 2017 at 9:00 am

Last Updated

29th October 2017 at 9:22 pm

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