Geostorm is a 2017 American science fiction disaster film directed, co-written, and co-produced by Dean Devlin in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Abbie Cornish, Richard Schiff, Alexandra Maria Lara, Robert Sheehan, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez, and Andy García. The plot follows a satellite designer who tries to save the world from a storm of epic proportions caused by malfunctioning climate-controlling satellites.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dean Devlin|
|Music by||Lorne Balfe|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$221.6 million|
Principal photography began on October 20, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana. After poor test screenings, re-shoots took place in December 2016 under executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, writer Laeta Kalogridis and new director Danny Cannon. 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, Real D 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.
In 2019, following many catastrophic natural disasters, an international coalition commissions a system of climate-controlling satellites called "Dutch Boy", named after the story of Hans Brinker. After Dutch Boy neutralizes a typhoon in Shanghai, a Senate sub-committee reprimands chief architect Jake Lawson, because he brought "Dutch Boy" online (without authorization) and replaces him with his brother Max, who works under Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom.
Three years later (In 2022), a UN team stationed in the Registan Desert comes across a frozen village. Makmoud Habib, an Indian engineer working on the International Climate Space Station (ICSS), copies data from the Afghanistan satellite onto a hard drive before he is killed in a supposed accident. After convincing President Andrew Palma to conduct an investigation, Max persuades Jake to go to the ICSS to investigate. Another satellite increases temperatures in Hong Kong, causing gas explosions that nearly kill Max's college friend Cheng Long, the head of Dutch Boy's Hong Kong department.
Jake arrives at ICSS to examine the malfunctioning satellites (which are damaged afterwards and their data erased) with station commander Ute Fassbinder and her crew, consisting of engineer Eni Adisa, systems specialist Duncan Taylor, technician Al Hernandez, and security officer Ray Dussette. They recover the hard drive, but hide it from the crew, suspecting a traitor, and examine the data, discovering that a virus has wiped out everyone's login access to the satellite and is causing the malfunctions. Suspecting Palma is using Dutch Boy as a weapon, Jake tells Max he needs to reboot the system to eliminate the virus which requires the kill code held by Palma. The ICSS staff neutralize malfunctioning satellites by deliberately knocking them offline via collisions with replacement satellites.
Back on Earth, Cheng discovers he and Max have lost login access and warns Max of a global cataclysm known as a "Geostorm" if the malfunction continues. Cheng is pursued to Washington, D.C. by a team of rogue government agents, who ultimately cause his death in a traffic incident, but not before he says "Zeus". Discovering Project Zeus simulates extreme weather patterns to create a Geostorm, Max enlists his girlfriend, Secret Service agent Sarah Wilson, to acquire the code. During this time, the ICSS team loses control of all operations as the virus initiates the self-destruct program.
During the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at Orlando's Moxley Arena, Max discovers Orlando is next to be targeted after a massive hailstorm hits Tokyo and part of Rio de Janeiro freezes over. Max requests Dekkom's help, but Dekkom instead tries unsuccessfully to kill Max, unveiling himself as the saboteur; Max immediately informs Sarah. The two kidnap Palma to protect him from Dekkom's agents and secure the kill code, which is Palma's biometrics. As they escape from the DNC stadium before a lightning storm destroys it, Max reveals their activities and Dekkom's treachery to Palma. After outsmarting Dekkom's mercenaries, the three arrest and confront Dekkom about his intentions: to decimate the other elected officials in America's line of succession, giving him the chance to dominate the world while eliminating America's enemies at the same time. Max and Sarah escort Palma to the Kennedy Space Center, where they transmit the code but learn that the self-destruct sequence cannot be stopped.
Meanwhile, in space, as more disasters strike around the world (including tornadoes in Mumbai, a heatwave in Moscow and a megatsunami in Dubai), Jake realizes Taylor is the traitor, and masterminded Habib's death and the storms on Dekkom's orders. In the ensuing confrontation, Taylor accidentally ejects himself into space while Jake escapes. As the crew evacuates, Jake and Ute stay behind to ensure the system's reboot, eliminating the virus and transferring satellite control to NASA, preventing the Geostorm at the last second and escaping in a replacement satellite.
The two take shelter in the replacement satellite as the self-destruct sequence completes and use its thrusters as a beacon. A nearby shuttle piloted by crew member Hernandez picks them up. Six months later, Jake works as the head engineer for Dutch Boy once more, which is now administered by an international committee.
- Gerard Butler as Jake Lawson, a satellite designer, former ICSS commander and Hannah's father
- Jim Sturgess as Assistant Secretary of State Max Lawson, Jake's younger brother and Hannah's uncle
- Abbie Cornish as U.S. Secret Service Agent Sarah Wilson, Max's fiancée
- 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, the commander of the space station and DLR Astronaut
- Robert Sheehan as Duncan Taylor, a British crew member of the ICSS and UKSA Astronaut
- Eugenio Derbez as Al Hernandez, a Mexican crew member of the ICSS and AEM Astronaut
- Adepero Oduye as Eni Adisa, a Nigerian crew member of the ICSS and NASRDA Astronaut
- Amr Waked as Ray Dussette, a French crew member of the ICSS and CNES Astronaut
- Daniel Wu as Cheng Long, the Hong Kong-based supervisor for the Dutch Boy Program
- Zazie Beetz as Dana, a cybersecurity expert and good friends with Max
- Talitha Bateman as Hannah Lawson, Jake's daughter and Max's niece. She is the beginning and end narrator of the film.
- Billy Slaughter as Karl Dright
- Tom Choi as Chinese Representative Lee
- Mare Winningham as Dr. Jennings
- Jeremy Ray Taylor as Emmett
- Gregory Alan Williams as General Montgaff
- Drew Powell as Chris Campbell
Katheryn Winnick had been cast as Olivia Lawson, Jake's ex-wife and the mother of Hannah, but during reshoots, her role was recast with Julia Denton.
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 an initial 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 and 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.
The film was originally set for release on March 25, 2016, but in August 2014, Warner set this date for the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice instead. On December 11, 2014, WB shifted its live-action animated film Mowgli to 2017 and gave its previous date from March 25, 2016, then October 21, 2016, to Geostorm. In September 2015, the studio again moved back the film from October 21, 2016, to January 13, 2017. In June 2016, the studio announced the release had been moved back from January 13, 2017, to October 20, 2017. The film had an IMAX 3D release.
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, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 14% based on 83 reviews, and an average rating of 3.57/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Lacking impressive visuals, well-written characters, or involving drama, Geostorm aims for epic disaster-movie spectacle but ends up simply being a disaster of a movie." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 21 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". 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".
Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert.com gave the film one-and-a-half out of four stars, stating that "the real disappointment about [Geostorm] is that it doesn’t even work as the camp suggested by the trailer.... [T]hey lack the lavish visual pyrotechnics nor the wit or style to make any of the destruction slightly memorable." Mark Kermode of the Kermode and Mayo's Film Review radio program stated that the film "takes stupid to a whole new level.... Honestly, and I say this, I think it's the stupidest film I have ever seen", emphasizing that "it's more stupid than Angels and Demons, and that's not a phrase I thought I'd ever say out loud".
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