- MPAA Rating:
- 109 mins
- Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia
- Dean Devlin
- Dean Devlin, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Rachel Oolschan, Marc Roskin
Content at a Glance
couple is intimate in bed but fully clothed
“jesus”; “gd”; some panic-ridden cussing
natural disaster action and violence; many deaths
character has a beer
When the network of satellites designed to control the global climate start to attack Earth, it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone.
The stage is set for the audience, and it’s a stage that might feel close to home for many: by the year 2019, chaotic storms of titanic magnitude have torn much of the world apart, and the future seems desperately bleak. In a last-ditch effort to save humanity, world leaders managed to work together to build a massive network of satellites called ‘Dutch Boy’ which serves the purpose of controlling earth’s volatile weather patterns, all under the direction of scientist engineer extraordinaire, Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler).
Lawson, as it turns out, lacks a crucial respect for authority. He’s a hothead—a flaw which quickly leads to his job being replaced by his younger brother, Max (Jim Sturgess), who reluctantly takes over his older brother’s position. But within the first 10 minutes of the film, the narrative has jumped three years, and the audience is introduced to the real conflict. ‘Dutch Boy’ is malfunctioning. A desert village in Afghanistan was frozen solid in a sudden ice storm, and back on board the space station, a member of the crew died suddenly due to some mysterious technological hiccup. Jake Lawson is quickly summoned by Max and his superiors to investigate ‘Dutch Boy’ and get the weather back on track.
Meanwhile, back on the ground, the mystery continues to unfold as Max’s team tries to make sense of the faulty tech in space which is proving to have catastrophic results around the globe. Very quickly, it becomes all too clear that this epic tale of Man vs. Nature is actually one of Man vs. Man. Unsure of who to trust, both Max and Jake manage to discover that beneath the satellite crashes and weather changes, a devious scheme by those in power is the backdrop to all of it.
As the trailers and posters advertise, this is a classic race-against-the-clock natural disaster thriller. But before you go, here are some things worth noting.
Unfortunately for Dean Devlin, the film’s director, who was no doubt trying to make a big splash in the important conversations facing us today surrounding issues of climate change, this movie was poorly done. Save for Gerard’s snarky attitude, the acting throughout was cringe-worthy, and the writing was even worse. With dialogue that’s too often on-the-nose, the audience is left feeling cheated out of an opportunity to explore the complexity of both character and plot. Scenes feel obvious and cliché, and the final result is a movie with fun potential, but in total, it lacks any substance.
While the movie isn’t great as a work of art, it is clearly trying to say something of worth to our modern culture now facing questions of climate change. The movie’s narrator, Lawson’s daughter Hannah (Talitha Bateman), gives the movie a personal touch which reminds the audience that humanity is intricately connected with its environment, and the role we play must be one of responsibility for future generations. Wherever you land in the debates surrounding global warming, you should know that this film stands boldly in a camp which emphasizes human responsibility—something which most, I think, would agree upon, whether or not the severity of the crisis finds unanimous witness. If hearing Jesus’s name taken in vain bothers you, there’s reason to pass on this one.