Review: Geostorm

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

PLOT: In a near future where the earth is protected by a weather controlling space station called “Dutch Boy”, a massive array of storms, directly caused by the now malfunctioning station, results in an international mission headed by its disgraced inventor (Gerard Butler). Meanwhile, his brother (Jim Sturgess) on earth discovers Dutch Boy’s malfunction is due to the machinations of a group intent on assassinating the U.S president (Andy Garcia) and taking over whatever’s left of the world after the storms wipes everyone out.

REVIEW: All bad movies are not created equal. This is something connoisseurs of les films de merde (translation: shit movies) such as myself know, and which is why GEOSTORM, after those first couple of trailers, became something of an event for those of my ilk (which would include Awfully Good columnists Jason Adams and Jesse Shade). Let me explain: there are “bad good films” and “good bad films.” “Bad good films” are more common. In fact, this week’s THE SNOWMAN is a bad good film, in that the elements are there, but something just went wrong resulting in boredom for all.

GEOSTORM, on the other hand, is a “good bad film”, a much rarer find. These are the kinds of movies Jesse and Jason spotlight every week, or the crew at “How Did This Get Made” rejoice in (although I take issue with many of their choices). Taken as a tent pole blockbuster, GEOSTORM is undoubtedly one of the year’s biggest disasters. One of the priciest films of the year and supposedly massively reshot (by none other than an uncredited Jerry Bruckheimer according to a THR article) since wrapping principal photography over two years ago, no one could ever call this a success. Any film that starts with what feels like a solid five minutes of exposition from a narrator (Talitha Bateman as Gerard Butler’s precocious daughter), covering up what was probably a first act in another version of the movie, is off to a bad start. It’s so haphazardly put together (likely due to so much time between the two shooting periods) that scenes barely match, with Butler’s hair seeming significantly longer in some shots than others (and is Jim Sturgess sometimes wearing a wig?).

Former Roland Emmerich collaborator Dean Devlin’s feature directorial debut, GEOSTORM will no doubt derail some of the people involved. It’s such a mess that you wonder how such a huge gamble could go so wrong. Yet, for all its faults GEOSTORM is quite wonderful in its awfulness. Were this an actual spoof, it would be nowhere near as funny as it is. Everyone is so sincere, from Butler as the world’s least likely scientist, to Sturgess as his politician brother and Abbie Cornish as his badass Secret servicewoman lover, that in its hopefully awry way GEOSTORM is perfect.

It’s that they were trying to make a good movie but failed miserably that makes it a disasterpiece. It’s bad, but I have no doubt that I’ll probably watch GEOSTORM more than a good tent pole like SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING over the years, in that it’s so much damn fun to revel in. A couple of beers, some friends and this on Netflix would make a damn fun evening. I mean, there’s literally a scene where Abbie Cornish is trying to outrace lightning while shooting it out with terrorists while Andy Garcia (as the president!) tells Jim Sturgess he should marry her, while at the same time a boy trapped in a storm plagued Mumbai tries to save his dog, while Butler, in space, tries to save them all. It’s horrible – but also amazing. GEOSTORM is one of the few movies that defies grading. As a straight-up movie, it’s a 2/10, but for entertainment value it’s at least an 9. The score below is the best I can do!




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About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.