2017 in Cinema:
Directed by: Dean Devlin
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Richard Schiff, Robert Sheehan, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia
In an unspecified future date, after a few more natural disasters, Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) designs a satellite which uses science (they explain how but Science wasn’t my strongest subject in school so it went over my head) to prevent natural disasters from ever happening again, and, for the most part, it works. We then fast forwards three years (Jake has been removed from the company, Dutchboy and his brother Max (Jim Sturgess) took over) to where one of their satellites malfunctioned. Jake is brought back to the space station to help fix the issue in space while Max tries to fix the issue on the ground, and we then find out, through events, that the system is being manipulated deliberately by a virus and it’s then a race against time for Max and Jake to find the culprits and prevent a geostorm (where every natural disaster is set off by the space station to destroy half the earth).
The one major issue I had with this film was its way of establishing our thoughts about characters: on the ground level and in space we are presented with a series of characters, most of whom are run of the mill characters but two, one on the ground and one in space, are presented almost as villainous (a British man is borderline racist towards Jake, an American, and on the ground one of the president’s staff is an unpleasant man) and both of these, sorry for the minor spoiler, are the culprits. It’s not a major secret that they try to hide but it’s also a bit disappointing for it to be so obvious who the culprits are.
The rest of the film is pretty generic there on; natural disasters wreck cities much in the same vein as The Day After Tomorrow and all the character problems we are presented with (absent father, hidden romance, a hatred between characters) resolve themselves as you’d expect. It’s very paint-by-numbers which annoyed me somewhat because it didn’t dare do anything out of the comfort zones for these types of films, and when it’s not original you need that something to stand out.
Nothing stands out from the categories (except Presentation, because the disasters are impressive), as everything is pretty average: acting, writing, plot progression, characters; which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I never felt truly invested in the outcome. But, as touched upon there, the look of the film is impressive, and I do wish I’d taken the IMAX version of the film rather than the 2D, as on the big screen in IMAX it would have been no doubt much better: the contrasting images of places being frozen, burned, the rain, wind, it all looked very well done. It is a bit of a shame the rest of the film didn’t match the level of quality put into its appearance, but it is otherwise a relatively enjoyable film.
Plot: * * Acting: * * * Writing: * * * Presentation: * * *