It seems that every couple years, the movie industry decides to release another "disaster porn" film. Off the top of my head, I can put Dante's Peak, Volcano, Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and San Andreas on that list. Hell, I'm sure there are more but that's a pretty epic list off the top of my head. All of these films are basically the same - a worldwide epidemic is happening and only one or a couple people can stop it! That small group of people are inevitably the main characters in the film, usually doctors, scientists, or something similar. Along with that human soap opera that goes on with these people, we the audience are treated to at least a good ten to fifteen minutes of "disaster porn" where a whole bunch of shit is destroyed. Famous landmarks and cities around the world are flooded, devoured, exploded, burned, melted, frozen, swept up, swept away, etc. etc. etc. It's bloody awesome. Always has been, always will be.
This year, we were given Geostorm, a film that mostly fits into the mould I just described. Before showing how this film fits almost exactly into that mould, let's talk about the writer, director, and producer of the film - Dean Devlin. Admittedly, I went to see this film because of the obvious "disaster porn" aspect of it, but knowing it was done by Devlin made the decision that much easier. He's worked on Leverage, Independence Day, Universal Soldier, Godzilla, Stargate, and Eight Legged Freaks to name a few. This guy has somehow had a thumb on the pulse of b-rated gold for twenty plus years. He should be a household name by now and I hope mentioning him with as much fanboy fervour as I have will bring him one step closer. Okay, fanboy activity aside, let's talk about why this movie is aces.
We are given a ridiculous scenario in which extreme weather has become prevalent due to climate change, however the film treads that topic wisely by not specifically mentioning the term. Satellites are sent up around the globe that use science to get the climate back in check and results in several years of harmony. The film starts with the creator of the satellite protection system being fired from his position because he's too much of a wild card. Amazing, right?! The system is at this point turned over to the US government to autonomously run it and one of the guys still working with the system is the brother of the wild card. B-movie gold! Fast forward to "three years later" when the satellite system is about to be turned over to worldwide control and obviously some folks within the US government aren't pleased about it. Enter the Geostorm! Basically some of the satellites malfunction and cause radical weather patterns all with the goal of eventually coalescing in a massive global storm that the world would never fully recover from. There's of course only one man that can attempt to save the world from impending doom - you guessed it! The wild card comes back from retirement (where he was building electric car engines for seniors in Florida!)!
We get a few random characters on the space station - some good and some bad. We get a few random characters within the US government - some good, some bad. We get a bunch of "disaster porn". We get a countdown to impending doom two-fold - a self-destruct sequence is triggered AND the Geostorm is going to destroy the planet. This shit is so good, it practically writes itself. We are also given some of the oh-so-necessary human soap opera between the wild card, his brother, and a few others they interact with. I might have described most everything in the film except for the nuanced details specific to this film, but it doesn't matter. I can't imagine anyone actually going to see this movie and expecting anything other than exactly what the film sets out to be. That being said, I feel like there needs to be a bit of a warning here. Anyone expecting to be moved, wowed, shocked, surprised, or awed is clearly going to see the wrong movie. It's predictable as hell and I'm the first to admit that. However, it does exactly what it should and hits all the necessary beats to make it exactly what a "disaster porn" movie needs to be.
I loved Geostorm. I didn't even mention that Gerard Butler, Ed Harris, and Andy Garcia are all in it. They're all great and only make this film better. Could it have been passable as a shitty TV movie with dulled down effects? Like, probably. Was it that much better for making a B-movie with a blockbuster budget? Yes, yes, yes, it was brilliant. It was so good. It was so bad-good. I enjoyed it the whole way through and give a solid two thumbs up because I'm smart enough to know what this film set out to do. It succeeded with flying colours in my books and I knew going into it I'd be writing a fanboy review afterwards. I just knew it. ❤️❤️❤️