By Timothy Rawles
Gerard Butler must navigate through a world full of terrified people and falling comets to find his family in the oddly satisfying action-disaster film Greenland.
With the world currently going through an actual real-life emergency, it might be hard to watch a disaster film for the fun of it. Thankfully Greenland is an enjoyable movie with plenty of nail-biting suspense to keep you entertained during the lockdown, maybe just long enough to forget about the real pandemic.
As the film opens, we learn a huge comet named Clark is passing dangerously close to the planet. What people don’t know is that the comet is breaking apart into smaller football-field-sized pieces caught in Earth’s gravitational pull and making their way to spots on the planet that scientists try to predict but are often off by miles.
For instance, one piece is predicted to safely crash in the ocean but ends up taking out a large portion of Central Florida. It all plays out live on television during a neighborly eighth birthday party for our hero John Garrity’s (Butler) son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd).
Thankfully John and his wife, who are amicably separated, and their son, have been mysteriously pre-selected to board military planes headed to safety to an undisclosed location (hint: the spoiler’s in the title). You see John is an engineer and the destruction from the pending apocalypse will certainly need his help.
After a particularly heartbreaking fight or flight scenario through the streets of their close-knit neighborhood, they eventually make it to the military base where they are processed and boarded into large cargo planes along with hundreds of other lottery winners.
Since this is an action-adventure, and we are only 15-minutes in, things happen, and our family gets separated, left to fend for themselves as meteors crash around them, and humanity shows its ugliest side.
Greenland doesn’t really bring anything new to the table as far as disaster films. And that’s a good thing because we don’t really go into these types of movies for anything more than the popcorn.
Thankfully director Ric Roman Waugh offers viewers a family-sized bag worth of a great time. Morena Baccarin, who plays Jack’s wife, is outstanding as a mother trying to save their diabetic son from human baddies and Anaphylaxis.
Cousins of the genre such as Dante’s Peak, 2012, and San Andreas are probably more intense as far as onscreen catastrophic showstoppers, and 1998’s Deep Impact might be a little lackluster in that area, focusing more on the human condition. Greenland falls somewhere in-between; there are some pretty harrowing destructive meteor sequences, while the humans’ actions are far more shocking.
Greenland won’t be remembered for its abundance of grandiose visual effects, but it is a stunning, intense nailbiter that doesn’t let up until the credits roll.
Greenland is available on select streaming platforms.