2:01pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Geostorm': What the Critics Are Saying
So, how bad is Geostorm?
The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore seems to suggest that it's pretty bad. In a review that describes the movie as "big, dumb and boring," Dean Devlin's weather horror flick comes across as being … not necessarily the best, shall we say.
"Viewers may have been drawn in by ads featuring tsunamis in Dubai and killer hail in Tokyo. But most of the body of the film consists of people logging into servers, talking about encryption and reviewing surveillance footage," DeFore complained. But the disappointment goes beyond a lack of disaster porn. Describing Jim Sturgess' performance, DeFore said it "suggests Devlin shouldn't be directing actors for a living." Moreover, he adds, "Judging from the badly deployed and oddly unmoving mayhem onscreen here, maybe he shouldn't be directing CGI effects, either."
Other critics aren't any kinder to Geostorm. According to Collider's Matt Goldberg, "it’s a film where the dialogue is laughably awful [and] the twists are only surprising if you’ve never seen a film before." Which isn't necessarily the best review a movie has ever received, but it's also not the worst … probably.
Eddie Harrison from The List offers a little bit more about what to expect from the actual movie. "The film playing out like a whistle-stop global tour to casually gawp at the deaths of untold millions before America saves the day," he explains, adding, "Clichéd codas like a little Indian boy reunited with his lost dog in the rubble do nothing to create investment in Devlin's folly. Bombastic and noisy, yet minuscule in emotional heft, it's a geostorm in a teacup."
Sure, but "bombastic and noisy" might actually be what some people are looking forward to in a movie like this, no? ScreenCrush's Matt Singer doesn't think so. "Most of this movie is a slog," he complains, "but the final act, where one hero makes a selfless sacrifice to save the planet but then survives anyway in a series of events so preposterous they make the rest of Geostorm look like a nature documentary, achieves a kind of transcendent idiocy." (Ad makers — "Geostorm looks like a nature documentary" is your pull quote.)
The AV Club's Mike D'Angelo was similarly unimpressed by the pic's finale. "On the one hand, [Devlin] wants to fashion a race-the-clock action thriller, and even goes so far as to place a hokey “TIME UNTIL GEOSTORM” countdown on the big screen at NASA headquarters, steadily ticking toward 00:00:00. On the other hand, he has to serve up the mass destruction that everyone came to see," D'Angelo wrote. "For most people, 15 minutes' worth of impressive annihilation won’t be worth enduring an hour and a half of dramatic monotony."
If nothing else, we can consider Geostorm on point for one thing: Like the eponymous storm that the movie seeks to avoid, it certainly seems like a cataclysmic disaster. Surely that earns it some points for verisimilitude?