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Geostorm - Film Review

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by Jade Jackson (subscribe)
Poet, Podcaster & Photographer with travel agent, airline, cruise ship, flight attendant, tour guide, and teaching airfares background. Read my travel articles and book cheap flights >>
Published October 22nd 2017
An eerie preview of the future
Abbie Cornish, Andy Garcia, Geostorm
Abbie Cornish and Andy Garcia. Image courtesy of

Part end-of-world movie, part space movie

"Everyone was warned, no one listened." From the opening monologue, Geostorm provides a scary reminder that global warming doesn't care about borders or politics.

Set in a future where global warming has destroyed large swathes of Earth, killing millions of people. The solution, an almighty, weather controlling system of satellites, known as Dutch Boy (named after the story of a Dutch boy who plugged a dam with his finger).

The system (created and currently run by the USA) is about to be handed over to an international consortium to manage, however, it's become faulty, resulting in adverse weather events; including an ice-storm in the desert of Afghanistan, which wipes out an entire village.

It's now up to estranged siblings Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler, 300, London Has Fallen), who created Dutch Boy, and Max (Jim Sturgess, 21, Across The Universe), who works in the White House, to try and fix Dutch Boy before it creates a geostorm, wiping out humans to near extinction.

It seems the directors spent most of their budget on CGI effects with tsunamis, giant tornados and super-charged lightening storms filling much of the screen. Trying to outdo previous end-of-world movies, 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow; Geostorm is impressive though not entirely original in its effects.

The tsunami scene (a must-have for any disaster flick) unleashes on Dubai, knocking over its iconic structures like the Burj Al Arab, instead of New York, whereas poor Tokyo once again gets blasted with giant hailstones. Where Geostorm is different, is the impressive weather controlling, Dutch Boy; which places Geostorm almost as a sequel to The Day After Tomorrow.

The sibling rivalry between Max and Jake adds some vague tension, and Max's love interest, Secret Service Agent, Sarah Wilson, played by Abbie Cornish (Sumersault, Bright Star), gets to shoot guns and beat-up bad guys. A nice change from the usual leads directors give women in blockbusters. I love seeing Australian actors in large-scale productions and in Geostorm, Abbie proves she belongs in Hollywood.

However it feels like the Director, Dean Devlin, has taken the best bits of every end-of-world movie and tweaked them slightly to try and create something new and in the process, generated a sense of nostalgia; the problem is using so much nostalgia creates scenes that are somewhat predictable, but then, what Hollywood blockbuster isn't?

All this familiarity meant I kept expecting Bruce Willis (Armageddon) to step out and save the day, but with familiarity comes enjoyment. Other big names include Andy Garcia (Oceans 11, 12, 13) who plays a convincing US President, Ed Harris (Pollock, Apollo 13) who portrays the Secretary of State, and Amr Waked (Lucy, Syriana, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), who is a worker on the Dutch Boy.

Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Applesauce) is underutilised as the low-ranked computer hacker, Dana. She gets the funniest lines, and along with Abbie Cornish, they steal the limelight from Gerard Butler.

Where Geostorm is unique compared to other disaster movies, is its ability to poke fun of itself, including subtle digs at current US politics. However, it conveniently avoids any talk of fossil fuels or carbon emissions, at any time in the movie, which did make me wonder about its motives.

Overall Geostorm is easy entertainment, and despite its predictability, it hits all the right beats, just when it needs to, you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll punch the air with jubilation and just like every other Hollywood disaster movie, you'll secretly love it.

The film was made for IMAX, showing in 3D in some cinemas; or see it in 2D at Reading Cinemas for only $10, any session, any day of the week.

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Why? Big action movie about climate change.
When: Out now, check local cinemas for times.
Phone: (02) 9647 0900 - Reading Cinemas
Cost: From $10 at Reading Cinemas.
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