This is the big-screen debut of blockbuster producer Dean Devlin – and after this it’ll probably be his last.
His production pal Roland Emmerich at least had some success with Independence Day, but at best this disaster flick can be called ‘terribly likeable’.
It aims for The Day After Tomorrow (which Emmerich also directed), but ends up being more like The Core – by being a stereotype of any one of a number of nineties disaster flicks.
When catastrophic climate change endangered Earth’s survival in 2019, the world’s governments combined forces to create a program involving a network of satellites – codenamed ‘Dutch Boy’ – surrounding the planet to control the weather and stave off natural disasters.
One of the major questions here is how the world afforded this, as there’s so much technology in the sky it should have bankrupted the planet.
But after protecting the world successfully for more than two years, these satellites – armed with geo-engineering technologies – have started to malfunction, releasing disaster-making pods of destruction around the globe. Like a village’s inhabitants in the searing hot Afghani desert being frozen to death by a below-zero frost.
Enter maverick astronaut Jake Lawson (Olympus Has Fallen’s Gerard Butler) in space, and his younger ‘Dutch Boy’ project chief brother Max (21’s Jim Sturgess) on the ground, to try and resolve the problem before a disaster of apocalyptic proportions is created.
But when it becomes clear that something darker is probably afoot beyond malfunctions, Max gets his Secret Service Agent fiancée Sarah Wilson (Sucker Punch’s Abbie Cornish) and Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom (Apollo 13’s Oscar nominee Ed Harris) involved when it mysteriously becomes clear that Andy Garcia’s (The Untouchables) President Andrew Palma is the only person with the ‘kill codes’ to shut down the satellites.
Fortunately for those wanting to ‘leave their brains at the door’ for a couple of hours, this isn’t the worst slice of entertainment ‘cheese’ you’ll ever watch – there’s a sort of affable Armageddon tone to it – with some quite likeable characters thrown into this highly predictable seen-it-all-before piece.
Gerard Butler just does what he does as he aims to take over the action reigns that will eventually be left to him by Liam Neeson, but please be under no illusion. this is completely ingenuity free – and is as stereotypical a blockbuster that you’ll ever see.
But after bombing in the States, the only storm brewing will be in a Hollywood boardroom – as this will undoubtedly be a massive financial flop.
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Andy Garcia, Ed Harris, Alexandra Maria Lara, Daniel Wu, Robert Sheehan, Talitha Bateman & Zazie Beetz
Running Time: 1 Hr 49 Mins
Director: Dean Devlin
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