❉ Ben Peyton braves the storm to give his verdict on the latest blockbuster eco-thriller…
Storming into cinemas in the wake of some horrific, domestic natural disasters, Geostorm arrives with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to remind us that we need to look after our planet or it’ll find a way to destroy us all.
Gerard Butler is Jake Lawson, a scientist who designed the Dutch Boy, an International Space Station that controls the weather and keeps our planet from annihilating us from above.
Someone high up in the American Government has managed to unleash a virus into the space station’s servers to utilise it as a weapon of mass destruction and soon some famous cities are being wiped out in spectacular fashion. What follows is a race against time before the virus helps to unleash a Geostorm, essentially the storm to end all storms where it’ll be raining more than just men.
Mix this up with a plot to assassinate the American President and you’ve got yourself a frenetic thriller that encourages you to disengage your brain, sit back and enjoy the ride.
It’s been a while since earth faced extinction on a blockbuster scale. Armageddon, Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 spring to mind and Geostorm ticks an awful lot of the boxes that are required for such a film. Yes, there’s a young child with a dog in some serious trouble and many famous landmarks get the Roland Emmerich treatment.
The destruction scenes have all been seen before, and probably better, but there’s still a cinematic thrill to be had by watching a tsunami approaching and freezing (yes, freezing) everything in its wake on the Copacabana beach in Brazil.
Gerard Butler shows a little more humanity in this role, rather than the almost indestructible tough guys he’s known for. His charming relationship with his daughter makes him more accessible and you find yourself rooting for him when he’s up against it.
Jim Sturgess, and his continuity-defying hairstyle, plays Jake’s estranged brother, Max, and the pair have excellent chemistry as they work together to prevent disaster.
Abbie Cornish, as Max’s Secret Service agent girlfriend, is a capable ass-kicker, but Andy Garcia is sadly underused as President Palma. Ed Harris as Leonard Dekkhom, a member of Palma’s Government, disappointingly phones his performance in. A cameo from Richard Schiff, as Senator Cross, channels his inner Toby Ziegler as he SHOUTS every OTHER word WHEN he’s ANGRY. Zazie Beetz as Dana provides some excellent comic relief and Alexandra Maria Lara as Ute Fassbinder, Commander of Dutch Boy, shines in a rather dull ensemble cast aboard the station.
Geostorm certainly isn’t going to win any prizes, but for pure popcorn entertainment it certainly deserves a place on the podium.
❉ ‘Geostorm’ (12A). Release date: Friday October 20 2017. Duration: 109 mins. Director: Dean Devlin. Screenwriter: Dean Devlin, Paul Guyot. Cast: Katheryn Winnick, Gerard Butler, Abbie Cornish, Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris. Distributor: Warner Bros Distributors Ltd.
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