Roland Emmerich built his entire career on being blockbuster cinema’s resident master of disaster, mounting a series of big budget and effects-driven epics that laid waste to many of the world’s most famous landmarks with the likes of Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. One of Emmerich’s most frequent collaborators during that incredibly lucrative and fertile time period was Dean Devlin, who produced five of the filmmaker’s movies and co-wrote six of them.
Presumably operating under the impression that he’d picked up more than enough tricks from his friend and mentor, Devlin struck out on his own and made his directorial debut on Geostorm, a project that also just so happened to be a big budget and effects-driven epic that laid waste to many of the world’s most famous landmarks.
Gerard Butler is solid as a leading man in the action genre, but nobody bought him as a hotshot satellite designer and retired astronaut in the film, which was admittedly the least of Geostorm‘s worries. Devlin clearly tried to emulate Emmerich’s approach to the disaster movie, but the finished product came off as a poor imitation of the latter’s work, albeit one armed with a similarly sized $120 million budget.
Things got so bad, in fact, that Devlin was kicked off the production after a disastrous test screening, with Danny Cannon overseeing reshoots that added another $15 million onto the cost. You must have really dropped the ball if you get booted from your own movie and replaced by the man responsible for Judge Dredd, and in the end, Warner Bros. lost over $70 million on Geostorm after it bombed at the box office.
However, for some reason it appears to have found a second life on Netflix and is currently the eighth most-watched title on the streaming service around the world today. Why that is, we really don’t know, but it seems that subscribers are currently flocking to it nonetheless for a dose of mindless entertainment and thrills.