Geostorm is a 2017 film directed, co-written, and co-produced by Dean Devlin in his feature film directorial debut. The cast of the film consists of Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Abbie Cornish, Richard Schiff, Alexandra Maria Lara, Robert Sheehan, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez, and Andy García.
The film is the first co-production between Skydance Media and Warner Bros. The film was released by Warner Bros. in the United States on October 20, 2017, in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D. Despite grossing $221 million worldwide the film was labeled a box office bomb given its $120 million budget, losing the studio $74 million, and received largely negative reviews, with criticism focused on the "uninspiring" story and "lackluster" visual effects.
Plot[edit | edit source]
|Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
In 2019, a coalition of 18 nations, spearheaded by the US and China, band together and commission "Dutch Boy", a system of satellites designed to control climate on a global scale, following numerous extreme natural disasters that have left millions dead. Overhead command of the Dutch Boy is given to the US. Following the Dutch Boy's first success at neutralizing a massive hurricane over Shanghai, Jake Lawson, Dutch Boy's chief architect, is scolded by Virginia senator Thomas Cross for activating Dutch Boy without prior approval and is subsequently replaced by his brother Max, who works under Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom.
Three years later, a United Nations field team stationed in Afghanistan comes across a village that has been frozen, along with its inhabitants. U.S. President Andrew Palma calls an emergency meeting of his Cabinet, where the blame is placed on a malfunction in Afghanistan's weather satellite. When Max demands for a proper investigation, Palma consents to sending one person to the International Climate Space Station (ICSS), prompting Dekkom to suggest that Max should send Jake. Back up on the ICSS, a satellite engineer suspecting foul play secretly and preemptively copies the log data from the Afghanistan satellite and stores it in a locker, but dies when he is suddenly ejected into space in an apparent accident.
Max approaches Jake at his house in Cocoa Beach, Florida, where he has lived for the past three years, to persuade him to return to the station and investigate the cause behind the disaster in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, a sudden temperature spike in Hong Kong results in gas lines bursting, destroying part of the city in a massive firestorm and nearly killing Cheng, Max's college friend and the Dutch Boy Program's Hong Kong bureau chief.
Upon arriving at ICSS, Jake is introduced to Ute Fassbinder, the current commander of the space station, along with her crew. When the crew tries to investigate Hong Kong's satellite, the robotic arm holding the satellite malfunctions, causing the satellite to be broken beyond repair, and all of its data is lost. Another satellite goes haywire, and Tokyo is struck with a massive hailstorm. Back in Hong Kong, Cheng, suspecting the satellites, contacts Max after finding that he has suddenly lost login access to the satellite. He also tells Max that if the malfunction continues, the world will suffer from "Geostorm", an unstoppable chain reaction of extreme weather patterns globally and simultaneously. Max realizes that he also can't access the satellite. He enlists Dana, a Department of Defense hacker who works in cybersecurity, and discovers that his access has been deliberately locked out. Meanwhile, Cheng's office is raided by armed mercenaries. Cheng successfully hides from them and flies to the States to tell Max what he has uncovered.
In another attempt to find the cause of the malfunction, Jake and Ute fly outside the ICSS to retrieve a hard drive which had been ejected along with the satellite engineer. However, Jake's suit malfunctions, causing his boosters to go out of control and nearly gets himself out of reach of the ICSS. After being rescued, Jake reveals to Ute that he has retrieved the hard drive, but has kept it secret from the crew, suspecting a traitor among them. Jake and Ute attempt to find the source of the error, but are blocked by someone; Jake concludes that someone within the White House is responsible. Jake tells Max about his findings in an encrypted message. in the meantime, the ICSS staff attempt to neutalize malfunctioning satellites by deliberately knocking them offline via collisions with replacement satellites. Meanwhile, Cheng nearly meets up with Max, but is killed when an assailant kicks him onto the street and he gets hit by a car, but not before he tells Max about Project Zeus. Max and Dana find out that Project Zeus is a program meant for simulating extreme weather patterns in an effort to create the biggest Geostorm.
Jake and Ute, with the help of fellow crew member Dussette, recovers the copied log data from the late engineer and discovers that the satellite has been infected with a virus, systematically wiping out everyone's login access to that satellite. Jake believes that the President is behind the attack and is using the Dutch Boy as a weapon. He tells Max that, in order to flush out the virus, he needs to reboot the system entirely, and that requires the kill code, held by the President. Max asks Sarah, his girlfriend and a Secret Service agent, to help him to acquire the kill code.
During the Democratic National Convention in Orlando, Max finds out that, with the recent severe temperature plunge in Rio de Janeiro, Orlando is next in line for a superstorm. He requests Dekkom to help secure the kill code from the president, but Dekkom instead tries to kill Max, unveiling himself as the mastermind behind the malfunctions. Max escapes and immediately informs Sarah. He and Sarah "kidnap" President Palma to protect him from other service members potentially with Dekkom and secure the kill code. They manage to save Palma and escape from the stadium before a massive thunderstorm blows it up. After outsmarting Dekkom's mercenaries, Max and Sarah confront him about his intentions with the Dutch Boy as he's arrested: to wipe out all of America's "enemies" and take out the line of succession ahead of him so he could become the next president of a world dominated solely by the US.
The virus affects the entire ICSS, losing control of all operations and the self destruct mechanism is suddenly activated. A tsunami strikes Dubai, a heat wave strikes Moscow, and multiple tornadoes strike Mumbai. Jake realizes that Duncan, an ICSS software engineer, is the inside man who created the virus, and the one who's initiated the self destruct program. Jake confronts Duncan, and in the ensuing scuffle, Duncan accidentally ejects himself into space while Jake escapes. As the crew evacuates, Jake decides to stay behind in order to ensure that the reboot is complete. Max and Sarah manage to escort the President to the Kennedy Space Center, where it is revealed that while the Geostorm can be stopped, the kill code cannot stop the self-destruct process. Ute decides to also stay behind in order to help Jake, and manages to reboot the system and transfer satellite control to NASA, preventing the Geostorm. They manage to take shelter in a replacement weather satellite just as the self-destruction completes, and manage to signal for a nearby NASA shuttle to pick them up.
Six months later, Jake has reclaimed his job as the head engineer for the new Dutch Boy, with the overhead control of Dutch Boy given to an international committee. The movie ends with the note that no one can change the past, but people can embrace the future, as a rocket flies in the distance to the stars above.
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Cast[edit | edit source]
- Gerard Butler as Jacob "Jake" Lawson
- Jim Sturgess as Assistant Secretary of State Max Lawson
- Abbie Cornish as U.S. Secret Service Agent Sarah Wilson
- Ed Harris as U.S. Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom
- Andy García as U.S. President Andrew Palma
- Richard Schiff as Virginia Senator Thomas Cross
- Alexandra Maria Lara as Ute Fassbinder
- Robert Sheehan as Duncan Taylor
- Eugenio Derbez as Al Hernandez
- Adepero Oduye as Eni Adisa
- Amr Waked as Ray Dussette
- Daniel Wu as Cheng Long
- Zazie Beetz as Dana
- Talitha Bateman as Hannah Lawson
- Billy Slaughter as Karl Dright
- Mare Winningham as Dr. Jennings
- Jeremy Ray Taylor as Emmett
- Gregory Alan Williams as General Montgaff
Production[edit | edit source]
As Dean Devlin explained climate change to his daughter Hannah, she asked why a machine could not be built to fix that. Devlin went on to imagine such a thing, and how it could be used for evil purposes. As he struggled to develop his script, he asked the help of Paul Guyot, specially to write the brother dynamics. In 2013, Skydance Productions purchased the filming rights. After Skydance's distributing partner Paramount Pictures put the project into turnaround, Geostorm was pitched and accepted by Warner Bros. Pre-production began on July 7, 2014. With a budget of $82 million, principal photography began on October 20, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and lasted through February 10, 2015. Filming began on Loyola Avenue on the first day. Some NASA scenes were filmed at a NASA Rocket Factory in New Orleans in November 2014 trough January 2015.
After poor test screenings in December 2015, $15 million reshoots were conducted in Louisiana in early December 2016, under new producer Jerry Bruckheimer, writer Laeta Kalogridis and director Danny Cannon. Winnick's role was recast with Julia Denton during reshoots, while new characters were added into the script.
Release[edit | edit source]
The film was originally set for release on March 25, 2016, but in August 2014, Warner Bros. set this date for the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice instead. On December 11, 2014, Warner Bros. shifted its live-action animated film Mowgli to 2017 and gave its previous date October 21, 2016 to Geostorm. In September 2015, the studio again moved back the film to January 13, 2017. In June 2016, the studio announced the release had been postponed to October 20, 2017. The film had an IMAX 3D release.
Box office[edit | edit source]
In North America, the film was released alongside Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, The Snowman and Only the Brave, and was expected to gross $10–12 million from 3,246 theaters in its opening weekend. After not holding Thursday night preview screenings, the film made $4.2 million on Friday. It went on to debut to $13.3 million, finishing second at the box office. The week after its release, it was reported the film would likely lose the studio around $100 million. In March 2018, Deadline Hollywood calculated the film lost the studio $71.6 million.
Marketing[edit | edit source]
On October 16, 2017, Warner Bros. released a prank video on its YouTube channel. In the video, a New York taxicab drives into an ice storm affected city block, much to the shock of its passengers.
Home media[edit | edit source]
The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on January 16, 2018.
Reception[edit | edit source]
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 16% based on 88 reviews, and an average rating of 3.57/10.On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 21 out of 100, based on 22 critics. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it a 67% overall positive score and a 49% "definite recommend".
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Several cast and crew noted that lead star Gerard Butler did not appear to know many of his lines.
- This was Skydance's second project not released by Paramount Pictures. The first being Life.