Daily Archives: July 21, 2020

Geostorm (2017)

*. Geostorm. Even the name sounds like a video game. Though actually it was also the name of a car manufactured by Isuzu in the early 1990s (technically, the Geo Storm).
*. The movie Geostorm crashed at the box office and met dreadful reviews, most of which complained of the unoriginal and stupid plot. Mark Kermode’s rant, wherein he described it as “the stupidest film I’ve ever seen,” stood out: “It takes stupid to a whole new level. I’m not exaggerating. You can feel any sense of intelligence you have just sort of seeping out of your ears.”
*. This is good, but Kermode softens things a bit by adding: “I could feel myself getting stupider, I could actually feel myself getting dumber as I watched the film, and the dumber I got the more I started to enjoy it.” This was not my experience. I wanted it to end half an hour before it did I was so sick and tired of it.
*. Certainly Geostorm is stupid. But compared to what? All of these CGI spectacle films are stupid. They’re popcorn movies aimed at audiences with no attention span and the intelligence of a third-grader. Around the same time as I saw Geostorm I watched Rampage, the giant ape movie starring Dwayne Johnson. Was Geostorm as stupid as that?
*. So the characters spout a lot of scientific mumbo-jumbo and we see technology that has instantaneous effect on extreme weather events. And when I say “extreme” I mean flash-frozen tropics, tidal waves in the desert, and lightning bolts that turn entire stadiums into giant fireballs. That extreme.
*. In at least one way, however, it’s not just all harmless bullshit. As I mentioned in my notes on the 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, Hollywood has been nervous about dealing with the topic of global climate change. Here it’s taken as a given, but technology has come to the rescue, offering up a quick, painless fix to all our problems. The whole world has come together to get this right (with the U.S. and China leading the way). This really is wishful thinking.
*. Aside from that, it’s all just an excuse to see cities being destroyed by CGI. Which, as I’ve said before, is one of the only things CGI does really well (the others being giant monsters and clashing armies). But none of this was new in 2017. We’ve seen all of these effects before. The people being frozen, the skyscrapers toppling. So I never started to enjoy it. I was bored.