For the first time since The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Hollywood finds the nerve to acknowledge climate change, though only in the most cowardly terms, hawking the pernicious fantasy of a global satellite system that can neutralize extreme weather events on earth. The problem isn't your carbon-spewing SUV—it's a villain inside the Democratic presidential administration who's reprogrammed the system to obliterate enemies of the U.S. (Frenemies, anyway—Dubai and Hong Kong fall victim to calamitous storms, but not Tehran or Pyongyang.) Gerard Butler plays the swaggering bad-boy astronaut called out of retirement to blast off to the International Space Station and straighten things out. The script, every scene of which you've seen 100 times already, ends with a sermon urging us to unite and salvage the future, though this rings hollow coming at the end of a $120 million exercise in sci-fi denial. Dean Devlin directed; with Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris, and Andy Garcia.
By J.R. Jones