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Review: ‘Geostorm’ proves less thrilling than the Weather Channel

(L-R) Gerard Butler as Jake Lawson and Alexandra Maria Lara as Ute Fassbinder in Warner Bros. Pictur
Gerard Butler and Alexandra Maria Lara in the movie “Geostorm.”
(Warner Bros.)

As if we didn’t have enough problems on Earth, Hollywood keeps inventing new ways for things to go catastrophically awry. The science-fiction spectacle “Geostorm” introduces an astonishing piece of fictional technology dubbed Dutch Boy — a network of satellites that stabilize our climate. And then the best the filmmakers can think to do with it is to wreck stuff.

Over-the-top disaster pictures are the specialty of Dean Devlin, making his feature directorial debut after a long career of producing and writing movies like “Independence Day” and “Godzilla.” “Geostorm” has a more clever premise than it needs to get to its ultimate goal of trashing some of our planet’s nicest places. But the results are still mostly dull-witted.

Gerard Butler gives a typically grunty performance as an arrogant technician who blasts into orbit to prevent our massive weather-jiggerer from glitching. Butler’s low-key charmlessness is matched by Jim Sturgess as his brother, a Washington bureaucrat trying to manage the crisis from the ground.

The first half of “Geostorm” functions as a kind of space-mystery, as the heroes begin to suspect that Dutch Boy’s deadly malfunctions are actually sabotage. No one seems overly concerned, though, as thousands of people are killed in freak cold-snaps and heat-spikes.

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When the long-promised global barrage of tornadoes, lightning strikes, tidal waves and extreme temperatures hits in the final half-hour, the special effects are stunning. But the razzle-dazzle arrives too late, and is strangely unmoving. This isn’t the kind of climate-change thriller that’ll make anyone sweat.

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‘Geostorm’

Rated: PG-13, for destruction, action and violence

Running time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

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Playing: In general release

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