‘Geostorm’ Review: Gerard Butler Anchors This Typical Popcorn Flick

Drew Dietsch
Movie Reviews Movies
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2.5
of 5
Review Essentials
  • Fun, over-the-top premise
  • Gerard Butler is a solid lead
  • Empty but entertaining
  • No surprises

The disaster movie is a Hollywood staple. Particularly, natural disasters are an oft-visited topic for blockbuster films. Geostorm fits right into that niche but does it do anything new with the sub-genre?

The concept has potential; a series of weather satellites control all of the world’s climate conditions. Naturally, something goes amiss and it’s up to the program’s creator, Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler), to fix things and find out what’s going wrong.

Expected but Fun

geostorm poster
If you've seen one epic disaster film, you've seen them all.

Despite a promising premise, Geostorm doesn’t have a lot of innovation going on. The sci-fi setup is an excuse to pull from director Dean Devlin’s well-worn repertoire of natural disaster silliness. Similarities to The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 abound, and you’re not wrong for getting a “been there, done that” kind of feeling.

Granted, there is a novelty to seeing weather events in locations where they would never happen. It’s absurd to see a gigantic flood heading towards Dubai or an arctic blizzard in the middle of Afghanistan. This gives the movie some big moments of fun, but they aren’t as prevalent as the marketing might have led you to believe.

Spaaaaaace!

geostorm gerard butler
Gerard Butler in space? This movie definitely has its perks.

In fact, most of the movie takes place on the International Space Station where the satellite array is maintained. There is a mystery afoot — of course, someone is deliberately causing these events — and Gerard Butler’s character, Jake, has to find out who is doing this while trying to fix the station.

Though the space action is cartoony and weightless (haha space pun), Geostorm looks as good as something like Life. And thanks to the heroic charm of Butler, spending time on this part of the story never feels too dull. Butler has a gruffly lovable nature to him that this movie uses rather well.

Is Geostorm Good?

I hate to give the most blasé of reactions, but Geostorm is okay. If you like disaster movies, it’s a blast. Though, you aren’t going to see any big switch up to the formula. The mystery component is fairly weak — the culprit is easily guessed simply due to a casting choice — but it keeps the plot moving.

Seeing destructive weather might not be the most appealing thing for audiences right now, but Geostorm has some (admittedly light) points on climate change and how humans are treating the planet. And really, this is a big Saturday morning cartoon of a film. It’s a popcorn flick through and through. It might not be filling but it tastes good enough to munch on for a short while.

Drew Dietsch
Drew Dietsch has written for CHUD.com, the News-Press, WhatCulture, and releases a weekly film review podcast, The Drew Reviews Podcast. He'll yak your ear off about horror movies, Jaws, RoboCop, and/or Batman if you let him.
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