During the last few months, many things changed in the film landscape. Casting changes, film productions coming to a halt and release postponements. But even during these unpredictable times, there are some things in the movie industry that still stay the same. One of which is that there always will be a new disaster movie starring Gerard Butler. Now that ‘honour’ goes to “Greenland” from director Ric Roman Waugh (“Angel Has Fallen”, “Shot Caller”), an entertaining, bombastic and solid B-movie.
Despite having an estranged relationship with his wife Allison (Morena Baccarin), structural engineer John Garrity (Gerard Butler) wants to be a good dad to their son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd). While their family life seems to be on the brink of collapsing, they have to come together more than ever after seeing and feeling the impact of the imminent arrival of a massive but unknown comet. While the comet Clark is still heading for Earth, its huge chunks of debris already landed close to John and his family.
The situation seems incredibly bad and hopeless but there’s some good news. The couple and their son have been selected as part of a top-secret evacuation program because of John’s professional skills (still unsure which skills but anyway).
When they arrive at the base, things go from bad to worse. Nobody of the family makes it onto the plane due to many different, emotional and familial reasons. By mid-movie, the family is even more separated than at the beginning, and with time running out, it’s all-hands-on-deck. Will the family be able to reunite before Clark hits?
Like any disaster movie about the end of the world as we know it, “Greenland” starts very promisingly and captivating. You feel the tension, the nerves, the doubts and the fear and yes at first, the movie intrigues you.
However, sadly, that feeling doesn’t fully last throughout the film. The main reason for that is the repetitiveness of the events happening. The couple and their son are trying to board the plane multiple times, but they keep on failing, they keep falling apart due to reasonable (and far-fetched) decisions, and there’s always “the husband needs to do everything to safe his family” vibe.
That “husband has to be the hero” feeling is a little misplaced in this movie. That’s because it’s actually Baccarin who keeps the family and this movie together. Instead of being given a more supporting role (such as in “Deadpool” and “Spy”), she now has the chance to shine and does that brilliantly. She delivers every emotion of the whole spectrum beautifully in this movie. Whether it’s the parental protection, the love for her husband, the fighting instinct to survive, the anger at society or the compassion for other people, she makes the audience feel what Allison feels.
While she outshines Butler (“Den Of Thieves“, “Olympus Has Fallen”) he still stands his ground in “Greenland”. He brings exactly what you would expect from him. Fast action, big emotions (still not sure whether that’s good or bad) and the rough-tough element a disaster movie needs. There’s also the lively and touching performance of Floyd (“Doctor Sleep”, “Kronos”) as the young and innocent Nathan.
Of course, when we talk about a disaster movie, we have to mention the special effects because what would “Greenland” be without those. Despite being made with a lower budget compared to other films, the special effects in “Greenland” still hold up. Maybe not as much as the director wanted but the fast-paced actions scenes in the car, the tumult that occurs on the airfield and the impact of Clark and his crumbling pieces are on point as the VFX certainly ticks the boxes.
While Greenland isn’t the most spectacular and memorable disaster film, it’s still an entertaining and very watchable B-movie. This is mostly because the film focusses on the human relationships and thanks to the convincing performances by the entire cast and pretty good VFX, the movie offers much-needed escapism.
“Greenland” is available on Amazon Prime Video in the UK from the 5th of February