This one hasn't received a lot of publicity, and wasn't screened in
advance for critics (never a good sign).
Some of the narrative stretches credulity.
And for a disaster movie, it takes a while to generate any real
action. But it may be worth
your time, anyway, just for the special effects.
Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) appears before a Congressional hearing,
defending his leadership of the international space shuttle operation that
actually succeeded in controlling the earth's climate (they say this will
happen in 2019, but of course the “real” thing might take a couple
more generations, not a couple more years).
Jake is a bit of a renegade (he would call himself a
“truth-teller”) who's not learned to be deferential when he needs to
be. So he's summarily removed
from the project that has been his whole life.
Even costing him a divorce, and separation from his precious
Three years later, and he's fixing up old cars for nursing home
residents, when they find him to help solve several mysterious
“glitches” in the space station operation.
(They complicate things by making this also about a drama with his
younger brother, but that only becomes important later because he's dating
a Secret Service agent.) When
Jake reluctantly agrees to see what he can do to help, he quickly discover
that 1) things aren't the same as when he left them, and 2) there's
sabatoge in the works.
What follows is the intrigue of discovering who's behind the
nefarious plot, and why. Turns
out that a lot of people are not who they appear to be, but of course
we're counting on our gruff, unsophisticated hero to figure all this out
and save the world from destruction, just in the nick of time.
Oh, and meanwhile, we are treated to CGI renderings of complete
disasters, from tidal waves in Dubai to heat waves in Moscow to tornadoes
in Mumbai to hard freezes in Rio de Janeiro to lightning storms in
Orlando. It's creative, but
it's also a strange list of destruction targets.
There's a little bit of humor here—-not much—--and a little bit
of love, but actually we're too busy saving the world to have much time
for frivolity. It's a global
crisis made poignant by the assumption of a level of international
cooperation that we might never achieve.