Kevin: The Gerard Butler vs. Mother Nature thriller “Geostorm” was already high on Tough Guy Digest’s radar based on its official synopsis alone: “As a man heads into space to prevent climate-controlling satellites from creating a storm of epic proportions, his brother discovers a plot to assassinate the president.” Actually just the fact that it was a Gerard Butler movie called “Geostorm” was good enough for us, but “Armageddon” mixed with “2012” mixed with “Olympus Has Fallen”? Sold! But now we’ve finally seen some footage with the release of the first trailer this week, and it’s everything we could have hoped for:
As if created in a lab, this thing pretty much hits all the expected beats for a trailer like this:
1) Ominous opening text: “In the future, the technology that controls the weather, controls the world”? Check.
2) Slow and creepy cover of a previously upbeat hit song (“What a Wonderful World”)? Check.
3) Possibly estranged family members embracing each other either before the action or after the destruction has brought them closer together, at the cost of only a few billion lives? Check.
4) Lots of shots of actors either watching in horror as the destruction unfolds or dodging the mayhem in cars? Check.
5) Closing money shot involving giant waves of water laying waste to the people below? Check.
Gee, you would almost think someone at the ad department had possibly taken a look at the teaser for The Rock’s own 2015 Mother Nature disaster flick, “San Andreas”:
Let’s see: 1) Opening text: “Where will you be, who will you be with, when everything falls apart.” 2) Slow and creepy cover of “California Dreaming.” 3) Lots of shots of The Rock and others either driving away from danger or gazing in horror. 4) The Rock embracing both his estranged wife and daughter. 5) Water-based closing shot.
That reminds me, not only do we have “Geostorm” to look forward to, but somehow they are planning a “San Andreas 2.” How? The only way I can picture them doing a sequel is if it’s about putting The Rock on trial for abandoning his post and stealing a helicopter and vital rescue equipment right when the shit hit the fan. That teaser is actually cut to make it appear that The Rock is going around saving other people during the destruction, but in the movie did he ever actually help anyone he wasn’t related to? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we’ll still have Alexandria Daddario around to help re-populate the Earth …
… but it seemed weird to introduce he and his band of loyal ex-military badasses as this strong cohesive unit, and then have The Rock ditch them the first chance he gets.
But back to “Geostorm,” while we get a lot of great weather-related destruction porn, there is no hint of this whole “assassinating the president” subplot. I have to say, considering you could just make this a straight disaster movie and call it a day, I admire them for throwing in that bit of extraneous side story. It would be like if they added a subplot to “San Andreas” about a dirty bomb set to go off in the governor’s mansion in Sacramento that The Rock’s brother had to defuse while everything else was falling apart around them.
I’m also interested to see what “Geostorm” director Devin Devlin has learned about these kinds of movies as Roland Emmerich’s producer for many years. Hopefully he learned not to overload his movies with boring characters and undercut any possible moment of tension with horrible comic relief. Does anyone remember that scene in 2012 when John Cusack and family are making their first escape from the earthquake’s destruction in a limo, and we get a quick shot of two old ladies driving a car, and it’s played for laughs that they are so befuddled about what’s going on around them? Then they smash head on into a giant piece of concrete and are obviously killed. What the fuck was that?
Anyway, I’m also really happy to hear that “Geostorm” was originally supposed to open back in March of 2016, before being pushed back several more times to its presumably final release date of Oct. 17, 2017. Obviously that can only mean the studio saw that they had an absolute masterpiece on their hands, and wanted to let Devlin have as much time as he needed to deliver the “Citizen Kane” of disaster movies. Either way, I’ll be there to find out on Oct. 17, or more likely I’ll be there at a cheaper matinee showing later that weekend.
CJ: First off, that’s a truly shitty title. It’s the kind of title you’d expect to see for a cheap straight-to-Syfy flick that stars Coolio or Jason Alexander. That being said, yes of course I’m on board. 1,000%!
A couple of other things that I noticed from the trailer:
1) Another cliche that’s always shown in these things is the person who steps into the frame to look at what’s happening, but also needs to take their glasses off. “Gee, I can’t believe I’m watching five tornadoes form at once, this is so unbelievable that I need to see it in blurrier vision to really get a handle on it.”
2) When the obligatory “tsunami hitting a city” shot came, I kinda got annoyed because it’s been done to death. However, I didn’t see the plane dropping down from the sky. And I bet the people on the city streets below didn’t either.
I wondered about the opening shot of the bombs hitting the hurricane, thus dissipating it. I realize it’s been a while since grade-school science class, but by killing the hurricane, doesn’t that completely fuck up the hydro-logic cycle? If they developed ways to control the weather, what happens to all that water forming in the hurricane? It has to go somewhere, not just disappear. Is this going to be addressed in the movie at all? Because they are kind of just ignoring a giant scientific aspect of their whole plot. In fact, I’d argue the idea of this movie doesn’t have much to stand on at this point. (Kevin: Settle down there Neil Degrasse Tyson!)
I’m cautiously optimistic Devlin is not going to kill us with Roland Emmerich-style green screens and surprisingly shitty CGI. In fact, I’d like to believe they stopped working together because of a fundamental disagreement over those items.
Kevin, as you pointed out, The Rock completely abandons his post in “San Andreas” to save his daughter. One good thing about our boy Gerard is we know that’s not how he rolls. Not only will he try to save everyone, I wouldn’t be surprised if he thinks for a moment he could punch a tsunami back, or catch the falling plane. And I’d totally buy it if he could. The real question is: will Butler go with his actual accent, or force another American accent on us all. And am I wrong for hoping it’s the latter?
Finally, my love for “San Andreas” can be revisited where we talk about “Baywatch” and “CHiPs” – which by the way, comes out soon! Yes!