Why Geostorm is the most underrated movie of our generation

Don’t let the 14% it got on Rotten Tomatoes, the 1.5/4 it got from renowned critic Roger Ebert, or Lainley Gossip’s review calling it “utterly ridiculous” fool you; Geostorm is by far one of this year’s, perhaps this decade’s, and maybe even one of film history’s, greatest and most riveting movies.

Directed by film legend Dean Devlin, Geostorm follows the story of some guy — I forgot his name, but I just looked it up and it’s Jake Lawson — on a mission to save the world from a series of global catastrophes and natural disasters, threatening the very existence of humanity. Wait no, that’s the plot of every single other disaster movie. Geostorm is different because … uhhhh … in this timeless classic, all the natural disasters have the possibility of being combined into one giant, superstorm called a geostorm. And also humans can control the weather with these satellites from space. But then the Vice President, or maybe it was the President, screws with the satellites and causes the disasters; there’s this whole government conspiracy plotline too. It’s really great.

graphic by Caroline Tan

But aside from that incredibly intricate and nuanced plot, what really stands out about Geostorm is its ability to create beautifully human, deep, and memorable characters. Take Blake, our main character. He’s a broken, lonely and sad man. Why? He got divorced and fired from a government weather-controlling agency run by his younger brother — a man whose facial expressions make him look like he’s perpetually constipated. Drake also has a really cute daughter who cries a lot. Now, that may not sound like much, and it isn’t. But at the same time it is, if that makes sense. It’s so simple, and so little time is spent on developing Blake as a person that you really can’t connect with him at all —  you feel like you know him based on other cliché disaster movie archetypes, but you don’t. Cool.  The supporting characters are also wonderful. There’s this French guy and he’s got this pretty good French accent, so that’s exciting. There’s this German lady and she’s got a German accent. There’s also this British guy, who’s good at first but (spoiler) then he turns out to be a bad guy. He’s got a great British accent — it really makes the film for me.

Ok, now I know what you’re saying to yourself: “Ben, stop talking about the plot and the characters. Let’s hear about the action and the special effects!” Well, here you go: they’re nothing less than spectacular. In one scene, Cairo is being struck by eight tornadoes. Eight of them! And these tornadoes — they’re really big! In another scene, there’s this tsunami. And then in another scene there’s an earthquake. But what’s really great about Geostorm is the cinematic and artistic risks it takes. Usually, people go see disaster movies for the action and the disasters themselves. What makes Geostorm such a unique movie is that it hardly has any of that — literally more than half the movie is spent in outer space, with Zach — remember him? — trying to fix these really awesome satellites! The risk really pays off in the end though, after all when I go to disaster films what I really want to see is one guy floating around by himself for an hour — it was riveting.

In conclusion, I loved Geostorm. Everything from the breathtaking visuals, to the heart-wrenching performances and characters, to the jaw-dropping action and captivating plot line created one of the best movie experiences I’ve ever had. And if I haven’t sold you on why you should see Geostorm, listen to this: the satellite, weather-controlling department responsible for all the disasters is called Dutch Boy. Don’t ask me why it’s called Dutch Boy; it just is. Awesome, right?  Dutch Boy. Oh Dutch Boy, my Dutch Boy…

But still, everything I’ve described up to this point hasn’t really conveyed why Geostorm is the masterpiece that it is. I mean, a lot of other great movies have wonderful actors, captivating scripts, and breathtaking visuals, so what makes Geostorm worthy of an Oscar? In my opinion, what really makes it stand out is how perfect the timing of its release was. In the wake of some of the worst hurricanes and earthquakes sweeping through Texas, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, Mexico, and Florida, an over-the-top action movie glorifying the death caused by natural disasters is anything but distasteful. In fact, it’s beautiful.  

In a way, Geostorm is a modern Bonnie and Clyde — both films are phenomenal pieces of art and completely misunderstood for their time. When it came out in 1967, critics hated Bonnie and Clyde, with one Bosley Crowther of the New York Times calling it, “ … as pointless as it is lacking in taste … strangely antique, sentimental claptrap.” Since then, people have realized how incredible Bonnie and Clyde actually is, now regarding it as one of the greatest films ever created. So wait a few years and you’ll see I was right about Geostorm.

Still, comparing Bonnie and Clyde to Geostorm is like comparing a rotting, dollar-store can of sardines to a freshly imported serving of Beluga caviar.

And take my advice: don’t read the reviews. They’re all full of crap; and I’m the only one who really gets it.

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