It was announced today that Cabinet minister Michael Fallon would be replaced by former whip Gavin Williamson, a man best known for using a pet tarantula called Cronus to intimidate MPs into doing the hairy spider’s bidding. Or Theresa May as she’s known. When Williamson inevitably resigns under shady circumstances, I would like to nominate Gerard Butler as defence secretary. Not only can he say “go back to Fuckheadistan” with more than enough conviction, he’s also capable of thwarting even the stupidest of global threats.
In Geostorm, Butler plays a scientist who designed a satellite system to control climate on a global scale. But when the system is compromised, a series of extreme weather disasters strike the planet, and Butler must race against the clock to save the world. Literally. There’s a massive clock on the space station counting down to “Geostorm”. I’m not sure why a “Geostorm” function would be built into such a system, or why the space station would have glass windows, but I suppose this is what happens when you let Gerard Butler design space technology.
Having written and produced a number of Roland Emmerich films, Dean Devlin comes to the project with no directing experience, but a hard drive full of CGI set pieces seemingly discarded from other disaster movies. But we have to wait well over an hour for the overblown destruction everyone came for – or didn’t, judging by the box office numbers. Most of the film is just talking, without any jokes. The closest the picture comes to a gag is when Jim Sturgess says, “This is bigger than you and me,” and Zazie Beetz responds, “You and I.” Which wouldn’t be funny even if it was grammatically correct.
San Andreas may have been equally illiterate, but at least it had the decency to keep the action to a maximum. There was never any danger of us believing in a single thing happening in Geostorm, starting with Gerard Butler pretending to be a scientist, so Devlin could at least let us have some fun instead of this interminable Geoyawn. The nonsensical plot, based on someone wanting to create a whole load of natural disasters for no reason, creates this huge disconnect between the Earth-based action sequences and whatever it is Gerard Butler is doing in space. It’s half Olympus Has Fallen, half Armageddon, all boring.
It’s so incongruous I can only assume that Devlin was the one hired to decorate Roland Emmerich’s flat that was recently listed to rent in London, which contains a mural of Saddam Hussein in the bathroom, a giant painting of Chairman Mao, and a life-size waxwork of Pope John Paul II that sits in a cupboard under the stairs. The estate agent warns: “This property is not for everyone.” Geostorm goes one step further by being for absolutely no-one. We’ll hopefully be spared a sequel, presumably called Geoswarm, because this one is set to lose $50-$100 million. Maybe there is hope for humanity after all.