Movie: ‘Geostorm’

By John Mulderig

NEW YORK (CNS) — Mostly murky with a strong chance of boredom is the forecast for “Geostorm” (Warner Bros.). Never, perhaps, has the potential wiping out of life on Earth seemed so ho-hum.

In between the catastrophes that are the real business of the day here, director and co-writer (with Paul Guyot) Dean Devlin tries to engage the audience by having a little girl named Hannah (Talitha Bateman) narrate the backstory and by setting up a sibling rivalry between Hannah’s dad, Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler), and his younger brother, Max (Jim Sturgess).

Gerald Butler stars in a scene from the movie “Geostorm.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS photo/Ben Rothstein, Warner Bros. Pictures)

Jake is the smart-alecky scientist who created the Dutch Boy network, a system of weather-controlling satellites that, as of the near-future, has successfully overcome the effects of global warming. (Won’t Al Gore be relieved!) And Max is a conformist State Dept. official who had the unenviable task of firing Jake after big bro mouthed off to a congressional committee once too often.

But fraternal estrangement will have to take a back seat to saving the world once it becomes apparent that someone has sabotaged Dutch Boy with the aim of causing a series of overwhelming natural disasters. Hail the size of volleyballs, anyone?

So Jake and Max reluctantly bury the hatchet and, with the help of Max’s live-in girlfriend, Sarah (Abbie Cornish), a Secret Service agent, set about uncovering and defeating the plot.

Armchair apocalypse fanciers may relish the ravaging of cities around the globe and the threat of the titular civilization-destroying phenomenon. But anyone looking for more than mere spectacle in this by-the-numbers action flick will come away disappointed.

Max and Sarah’s dodgy domestic arrangement eventually moves toward marriage and the numerous armed confrontations are mostly blood-free. Self-sacrificing heroism also puts in an appearance as the movie’s climax looms. Nonetheless, given the script’s lapses into divine name-taking and earthiness, this is still best suited to easily satisfied grown-ups.

The film contains much gunplay and other stylized violence with minimal gore, cohabitation, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, a couple of milder oaths and several crude and crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

About Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' news and information service.

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