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Review: written 20017

A perfect storm of awfulness

I so much wanted this to be an enjoyable piece of brainless popcorn fare that I could chuckle along to.. alas, while it succeeded in being brainless, it was anything but fun, as the contrivances and clichés mount to an unbearably awful crescendo.

I didn’t believe a single character, from Gerard Butler’s scientist-engineer-computer expert-meteorologist-astronaut, to the cry-on-demand little girl, or the brother secretly dating the secret service agent, or the secret service agent who keeps walking off in the middle of her job protecting the President to chat to her lover, or any of the utterly stereotyped characters supposed to represent the world. There’s even a young Indian boy trying to save a dog from a typhoon.

It is the near future, and the world has pulled together to defeat bad weather – the weather is now ruled by a net of satellites, controlled by an International Space Station on steroids. However, some events lead our ‘heroes’ to think that something nefarious may be afoot, and Gerard pops on to the next shuttle to go set things right. As the plot unfolds, we realise it hinges on bad weather being triggered according to a set schedule in order to create the ‘geostorm’ of the title. Once the conditions are created for the geostorm, the point of no return is conveniently timed to the second with a digital countdown allowing a ‘cliffhanger ending’ – because we all know how predictable weather is.

It’s not just that the story is unbelievably brain-rottingly ridiculous, the characters are just awful and the script – well, it is hard to imagine anyone sitting in a room and imaging the next line coming out of someone’s mouth should be “You get the car, I’ll get the President”. A surprising cast is thrown away – Ed Harris what were you thinking. Watching actors such as Harris and Andy Garcia utter drivel with a straight impassive face just left me feeling utterly sad. Oodles of cgi are thrown at a plot and script which belonged in sub prime straight to TV territory, but none if it feels real enough to feel genuine peril – take as case in point the lightning hitting every inch of the road somehow avoiding the big metal car racing along with our protagonists… or any number of other scenes which border on parody.

Perhaps worst of all, how can you really relax with your popcorn and chuckle about a series of storms killing millions, in a year which saw such devastating hurricanes in America and the Caribbean? With the tag-line, “Brace the Storm”? I went in with low expectations, and still managed to come out bitterly disappointed. My advice – don’t put a brave face on it – take refuge in another screen instead, it’s just too bad to watch, and even too bad to laugh at how bad it is.

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