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The Plot Of ‘Geostorm’ As Recreated From Its Reviews — Frozen Tidal Waves, Bazookas, And All

If you’ve never read a Plot Recreated With Reviews, that’s when we try to recreate an entire movie using just quotes from the reviews — summary only, no analysis! The idea is that critics are at their best when just trying to describe the insane plot of a schlock feature, and that schlock features are at their best when being described by dumbfounded critics.

And what better insane schlock for critics to try to decide than Geostorm, in which “famous satellite designer” Gerard Butler tries to save the world from a rogue weather control system? So, without further ado, here is Geostorm, recreated using only summary quotes from the critics who saw it. Who had to pay to see it, in fact, since it didn’t screen for critics.

The Setup

Geostorm begins with a child narrating that in 2019 storms were going to kill a lot of people and Gerard Butler singlehandedly saved the world. (Uproxx)

“Everyone was warned, but no one listened,” an unseen young girl’s voice intones over the opening prologue. (TheWrap)

As fake newsreel footage of horrible natural disasters plays onscreen, a young woman (actress Talitha Eliana Bateman) explains that as “extreme weather” only got more xtreme, Earth reached a tipping point. “We didn’t just lose towns or beachfront. We lost entire cities. The East River swallowed Lower Manhattan. A heatwave killed 2 million people in Madrid in just one day.” (Entertainment Weekly)

Faced with environmental meltdown, the world’s scientists, led by Dr Gerard Butler, have come together and constructed… (Irish Times)

…a “net of satellites, each deploying countermeasures designed to impact the basic elements of weather: heat, pressure, and water”… (Entertainment Weekly)

…to control the world weather. (Irish Times)

“This is what saved us all, and it was built by a team, led by one man,” the young girl says, before a pause for dramatic effect: “My father.” (Entertainment Weekly)

The weather machine Gerard Butler built is named “Dutch Boy.” (Uproxx)

“Dutch Boy”… (RogerEbert.com)

…after the fable about the kid who plugs a hole in a dike with his finger…  (The A.V. Club)

…is the brainchild of two-fisted, hard-drinking and inexplicably Scottish American scientist Jake Lawson — Butler… (RogerEbert.com)

…who runs the system along with an international crew up in space. (RogerEbert.com)

A hard-living single dad with a taste for booze… (The Guardian)

Dr. Butler is facing censure for being a rogue genius who won’t play by the rules, toe the line or do any of the other things Gerard Butler never does in movies. (Irish Times)

Jake’s a man so famous that he’s recognized by a security guard outside the congressional hearing that opens the movie. (Entertainment Weekly)

He is one of those guys who just cares too much and when a Senate hearing goes sideways, he is fired from the project by its new head, his own brother, Max — Jim Sturgess. (RogerEbert.com)

The Complication!

Dutch Boy was built by a team of scientists from 17 different countries and now, after a period where it was solely controlled by the United States, the President, played by Andy Garcia, is about to hand over Dutch Boy to an international oversight committee. (ScreenCrush)

After a “three years later” jump… (Entertainment Weekly)

…[w]hen 300 Afghanis in a remote, sun-baked village suddenly freeze to death, POTUS… (TheWrap)

…and his secretary of state, played by Ed Harris… (The A.V. Club)

…agree to send someone to the international space station… (TheWrap)

…which is being sabotaged by a virus planted by someone on board. (Variety)

That means Bruce Willis … um, I mean, Jake. (TheWrap)

The siblings have their differences, but they share an unplaceable American accent, an aversion to regular shaving and a desire not to see the world destroyed by ice, fire, hail or heavy rain. (New York Times)

“Actually, my brother and I were born in the U.K.,” drawls Gerard Butler. (Time Out)

When Jake arrives and gets introduced to his new team — a group of brilliant scientists who work on the installation he helped create, which saved the world — no one recognizes him. (Entertainment Weekly)

Max, with the assistance of Secret Service agent Sarah Wilson, played by Abbie Cornish, to whom he’s secretly engaged, begins to investigate the alarming possibility that someone high up in the U.S. government may be behind all of the mayhem. (The A.V. Club)

After about six minutes, Jake and the station commander, played by Alexandra Maria Lara, figure out that system has been sabotaged… (RogerEbert.com)

…[w]hile Jake is shot into orbit to oversee an Agatha Christie mystery of who amongst a united nations of elite crew members sabotaged Dutch Boy from the inside, Max is trying to figure out who is trying to kill a Hong Kong-based system whiz. (TheWrap)

A random Asian (later revealed to be an important character) tries to outrace a sudden Hong Kong heat surge, dodging toppling skyscrapers and cracks in the road from behind the wheel of his tiny Smartcar. (Variety)

This character had the key to why the bad storms were happening, and all he had to do was cross a street to tell our team of good guys. He even waved like, “Here I am! Nothing can stop us from talking now!” [Splat.] (Uproxx)

The Excitement!

The Geostorm is happening! (Uproxx)

Tidal waves hit, buildings fall like dominoes… (Arizona Republic)

…Brazilian beach bums run from waves that freeze to absolute zero upon contact with skin. (Irish Times)

There is a car chase during a lightning attack. (Uproxx)

People are crushed by enormous boulders of hail. (The A.V. Club)

A bolt of lightning strikes a large civic convention center and the entire building instantly explodes. (ScreenCrush)

The entire city of Dubai swallowed by a tsunami, dozens of Hong Kong skyscrapers topple… (The A.V. Club)

…the destruction of Malaysia by heat-laser. (The Guardian)

Ed Harris just fired a bazooka. (Uproxx)

…Or Not

Wait, it’s not happening yet. The Geostorm in Geostorm never even happens. (Uproxx)

Instead of giving the people what they want — geofreakingstorms — this movie is mostly about people arguing about trivial nonsense, looking very seriously at computer screens, and arguing about trivial nonsense while looking very seriously at computer screens. (ScreenCrush)

Most of this movie takes place on a space station. Gerard Butler is just on a space station hitting buttons and typing into a computer. (Uproxx)

Our hero is a loud, obnoxious jerk that few people would want to spend any amount of time (RogerEbert.com)

Gerard Butler just found something he was looking for and shouted, “Bingo!” (Uproxx)

Any number of extraneous subplots — Jake’s relationship with his disappointed moppet of a daughter and Max’s supposedly clandestine affair with a Secret Service agent. (RogerEbert.com)

No one cares in the slightest whether Sturgess’ bureaucrat will be able to go public about his relationship with a Secret Service agent, even though their love is against the law or the rules or something. (ScreenCrush)

Garcia is in Terry Benedict-mode here and he mails it in but for one line-reading late in the film: “I’m the goddamned President of the United States.” (Entertainment Weekly)

The Thrilling Conclusion

The final act, where one hero makes a selfless sacrifice to save the planet but then survives anyway in a series of events so preposterous they make the rest of Geostorm look like a nature documentary, achieves a kind of transcendent idiocy. (ScreenCrush)

A late scene in which Jake appears ready to sacrifice himself for the good of humanity is preemptively undermined by Jake’s having promised his young daughter that he would safely return. Geostorm makes a point of showing audiences that a cute dog survives; it’s not gonna have the hero break a promise to his kid by committing noble suicide (The A.V. Club)

Gerard Butler tries to parkour space walk his way out of an exploding space station. (ScreenCrush)

Our intrepid hero screams “Hopefully someone sees us! Fingers crossed!” (ScreenCrush)

So the solution to the whole movie is, I swear, “just turn off the computer and restart it.” (Uproxx)

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