Gerard Butler Shines in “Geostorm”

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The arrival of “Geostorm” in movie theaters on October 20 couldn’t be more timely – the past few months have been filled with hurricanes, out-of-control wildfires and scenes of epic destruction wrought by Mother Nature. It is almost as if the basic plotline of “Geostorm” – a worldwide storm capable of wiping out the entire planet – was taking place before our very eyes. And the actor at the center of all that is the Scottish-born heartthrob Gerard Butler, whose job it is to save the world.

Gerard Butler is the shining star of this gripping disaster movie

In “Geostorm,” Gerard Butler plays Jake Lawson, a scientist and astronaut who helped to design the innovative satellite system known as Dutch Boy. The role of Dutch Boy is to protect the earth from extreme weather events, but it soon begins to malfunction, and cities like New York, Dubai, Moscow and Tokyo must contemplate the onslaught of cataclysmic storms. Soon, the entire world will have to confront these end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it storms.

So just about the only person who can stop these storms from happening is Gerard Butler. His character is soon sent to outer space to fix the malfunctioning problems of Dutch Boy, and so he becomes the central figure in this movie. He is the perfect mix of brawn and brains who has a commanding presence anywhere he goes.

He is almost a bigger-than-life hero, but like any hero, he has a few weaknesses that makes him vulnerable. As the movie progresses, we see how Jake’s arrogance, impatience and cockiness have landed him in trouble, again and again. When he is first approached about going back up to space, in fact, he’s living in Florida and obviously doesn’t want to be bothered. He’s lost his house and his marriage, and is sharing the custody of his daughter Hannah with his estranged wife.

But this is exactly what makes Gerard Butler so believable as an action hero – we understand what makes him tick, and what his vulnerabilities are. Yes, he might be a super-star satellite designer and fearless astronaut, but he’s also just like us in so many important ways. He wants to be a hero for his daughter as much as for humanity. To be certain, Gerard Butler is the shining star of this gripping disaster movie.

Gerard Butler shines amidst an all-star cast in “Geostorm”

To be sure, what gives “Geostorm” so much sparkle and shine is the all-star cast. It is not just Gerard Butler who must hold together this epic natural disaster movie. He is joined by some real all-star talent, such as Andy Garcia, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris and Jim Sturgess.

It is the interactions between Gerard Butler and Sturgess (who plays Jake’s younger brother Max) that really help to give “Geostorm” so much emotional and dramatic resonance. Some parts of the movie play out with a dual plot line – in one, Gerard Butler is up in space, trying to fix the satellite system; in the other, Jim Sturgess is down on Earth, trying to unravel a potential conspiracy that leads all the way to the White House.

Gerard Butler is perfect in his race-against-the-clock role in “Geostorm”

What makes the action in “Geostorm” so compelling is that Gerard Butler as Jake Lawson must race against the clock. He is very much aware that if he does not fix the malfunctioning satellite in time, then it could mean the destruction of the Earth. This is where Gerard Butler is at his very best, showing the sense of urgency and nearly superhuman skill needed to avert this catastrophe. Audience members will be kept on the very edges of their seats, unable to divert their eyes from the screen. Gerard Butler is the type of larger-than-life screen presence that we all want from our heroes.

“Geostorm” presents Gerard Butler like you’ve never seen him before

This movie could become the breakout star vehicle that Gerard Butler deserves. Most fans probably got to know him as King Leonidas from “300” (released in 2006). Since then, he’s been a share of romantic comedies (like “The Ugly Truth” in 2009) and dramatic action movies, like “Olympus Has Fallen” (2013). But “Geostorm” is the kind of mega-blockbuster movie that we’ve been waiting for, where we can see Gerard Butler achieve his full potential as a Hollywood actor.

It’s clear why Dean Devlin, the director of “Geostorm” who is making his feature film debut, chose Butler. He wanted a character who could be believable in his heroic role as someone capable of saving planet Earth from a serious of inexplicable climate disasters. He needed a big-time action hero for his first movie.

Amidst all the natural disaster chaos in “Geostorm,” Gerard Butler stands out

Part of what makes “Geostorm” so dramatic, of course, are all the CGI-generated climate disasters. From the frozen villages in Afghanistan to the tidal waves engulfing cities to the collapsing buildings around the world, it is a scene of unrelenting chaos.

And that’s why Gerard Butler stands out so much in this disaster flick. He helps to ground the film in a sense of reality – even while he’s up in outer space – while the rest of the world seems to be imploding on itself. His larger-than-life screen personality, his cockiness under pressure, and his ability to look just as good in a corporate suit as an astronaut suit is what makes him the real star of this movie. If you need someone to go up to outer space and save the world, then Gerard Butler is your man.

Gerard Butler in “Geostorm” is going to create a new genre of blockbuster

One big theme that runs through most reviews of “Geostorm” is how this movie is helping to position climate change as the ultimate super-villain. At one time, it was German bad guys, Russian bad guys, or Arab-speaking bad guys in movies who were the real threat to the world. Now it’s climate change. This movie will change your view of climate change and global warming, and you can thank Gerard Butler for that.

Butler, in fact, is the star of a film that could herald a new genre of blockbuster in Hollywood. Given how natural storm disasters of epic proportion have been on cable TV wall-to-wall for the past few months, it’s easy to see how this is the film that we need in movie theaters today. Through all the chaos, all the disaster, it is Gerard Butler as the hero Jake Lawson who really shines.

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