When Independence Day was released in 1996, it truly felt like an event that everyone had to attend. The idea of aliens arriving on Earth was nothing new, but giving it the disaster movie treatment was all we needed to create a summer blockbuster that’s left a rather large impact on pop culture. What elevated the first film wasn’t just the jaw dropping special effects at the time or having a superstar lead like Will Smith attached, but the fact the movie also had a charm to it. There was something for everyone and everyone could see themselves in it. The cast was diverse and promoted a story of everyone coming together and put aside our differences for survival. Then there was the humor and wit that came with to help ease any tension of the onscreen violence. This is everything that GEOSTORM lacks.
A system referred to as “Dutch Boy” is made of several space satellites that are designed to control climate on a global scale. This was created after natural disasters so extreme occurred that human existence itself was threatened to be done with. The main architect, Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) finds himself out of a job after activating the satellites and saving several lives in Shanghai from a massive typhoon. He is replaced by his brother, Max (Jim Sturgess), helping set that sibling rivalry dynamic right in place. Three years later, the disasters occur again and Jake is convinced to come back and help figure out what went wrong.
One of the biggest issues with GEOSTORM is that everyone in this movie is a dick. None of the characters are particularly likable, but feel more like arm candy. The casting here feels very Hollywood even if the special effects don’t reflect that. This is Dean Devlin’s first film as a director and it’s surprising how unexciting it is considering he is the man who wrote and produced Independence Day. Even that awful late 90s Godzilla he made was more fun than this. For a movie where the character felt very dumbed down, the story was rather hard to follow and I didn’t really care to. The disaster sequences are few and far apart with CGI that is not flattering on a 4K TV. The story driven scenes, or lack thereof, don’t have much chemistry though I give much credit to Sturgess for making something out of his one dimensional character. This guy really needs to be given a chance to shine because he’s been brilliant since he broke out in Across the Universe.
The studio behind GEOSTORM put as much effort into the blu-ray release as it did in the movie itself and that’s not saying much. A movie like this needs to make the room shake and the 5.1 track barely made a creak. The dialogue was clear though so there’s that. The special features are short and not exactly informative. However, I’m sure most people picking this release up could care less about what inspired this blockbuster disaster. It did come with a trailer for Ready Player One so I’m really excited about that and hope that makes up for the time I won’t get back.
There are far better disaster movies to check out like the underrated San Andreas if you need to kick back and watch the world fall to pieces. The only character I really cared for was a dog that was probably on screen for less than twenty seconds and not sure if we even heard its name.
GEOSTORM is now available to own on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, and Digital