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Mr. Bullington Rains on Movie Science: A Geostorm Review

Kris McQueen, Coffeehouse Promoter

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Overall, the idea of a geostorm is faulty. It is impossible to create, but scientifically not too far off IF someone could bend time and the atmosphere to their will. The film, Geostorm while entertaining, scientific faults hard to ignore, even for a solid ly mind-numbing action flick.

“Massive tornado storms, ice storms, earthquakes, tidal waves destroying all of what looks like New York City because someone hijacked the weather destroying satellites. Oh, and only one person can stop it all from happening. Haven’t we been here before?… Armageddon, 2012, etc. Done, done, and done. Get a new idea. How many times can the same movie producers make the same film? Yawn!” said chemistry teacher Brad Bullington of Geostorm, an action, sci-fi, thriller mash-up starring Gerard Butler.

Geostorm takes place in the year 2022, and follows brothers Jake and Max Lawson, played by Gerard Butler and Jim Sturgess respectively, as they try understanding why the system of satellites Jake built to keep climate control is suddenly failing. Jake goes into to space to try to understand the mechanics of everything, while his younger brother stays on Earth to understand the governmental side.

The actors chosen for this film were…slightly believable. Slightly. The parts were played as written, and a few actors, such as Abbie Cornish – who took the role of a secret serviceman – and Daniel Wu – who played a programmer from Hong Kong – really immersed themselves in their roles. However, because of the writing, the characters seemed alternately wooden and panicked. The fast paced plot didn’t leave room for natural development.

Like the writing, the logic behind the movie is not the best. Creating a safety net for the weather to stop extremes is not the best idea or even a probable one. Something of that stature could easily malfunction, and that malfunction could lead to the exact danger that they are trying to prevent in the first place.

According to Smithsonian, the entire premise of the movie is so impossible it’s unpossible. Ken Caldeira, a senior scientist at Carnegie Institution for Science, gave his thoughts on giant, weather-controlling satellites: “Even if you could produce these big, localized changes, the idea that you are not going to inadvertently create huge changes somewhere else just doesn’t seem physically plausible.”

Bullington agrees with the scientists about scientific inaccuracy. “A weapon fires from a satellite and it makes what looks like a hurricane immediately disappear. Ok, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) states that, on average, a hurricane produces as much as 1.3x1017J/Day of total kinetic energy (wind) and 5.2x1019J/Day of cloud/rain formation, which converts to about 6.0×1014 J/sec of total energy release.That is just about one quarter of the total energy released from the sum of all nuclear weapons detonated on the planet, ever! So, is one aerial attack with a bunch of little bomb thingies going to reverse the energy and change the pressure of a hurricane to cause it to be destroyed immediately? I don’t think so.”

Bullington continued, “Not to mention, if the weapon is nuclear, then you will have to deal with literally tons of atmospheric fallout, so it seems a bit unlikely to that this will ever happen. NASA says that, ‘During its life cycle, a hurricane can expend as much energy as 10,000 nuclear bombs!’ And we’re just talking about average hurricanes here, not Katrina.” said Bullington.
“If we want to save the planet, we need to work with what we have,” said Bullington.

This idea was also stated in the movie by Jake Lawson’s daughter, who said, “Everyone was warned, but no one listened.”Bullington wrote in an email about how to avoid an actual geostorm, “People need to stop burning fossil fuels. Global populations need to be reduced to a few hundred million. Clean, renewable energy must be the only kind of energy used. Cleanup of the oceans, marshes, beaches, and wetlands. Stop eating so much meat, and plant a garden in your backyard.”

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Mr. Bullington Rains on Movie Science: A Geostorm Review