A comet is about to wipe out all life on Earth, and one
family struggles to get to safety before time runs out.
Directed by Ric Roman Waugh
Written by Chris Sparling
Starring Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, Roger Dale Floyd,
Scott Glenn, David Denman, Hope Davis, Holt McCallany
The combination of Gerard Butler and a vague disaster porn concept seemed like a match made in hell. I didn't bother with it, mostly due to the horrible reception Geostorm got, and this looked like more of the same. But I'm here to eat those words. Greenland is the most humanizing and realistic end of the world movie I've seen in years. Instead of featuring the same global monuments blowing up in spectacular fashion, Greenland shows you everything through the eyes of one family. You see the disasters talked about on the news, you watch the ground shake around them, but you see very little. That's exactly what it would feel like, and that's terrifying.
John Garrity (Butler) is estranged from his wife (Baccarin) after a bout of infidelity. He's trying to make things work, and he makes it clear he loves his diabetic son Nathan (Floyd). Around the edges of the beginning of the film, you keep hearing about Clarke, this comet that's gonna fly by Earth. Only it doesn't. It breaks up into planet-destroying chunks and wipes out Tampa, FL, with the rest of the world soon to follow. John gets an alert on his phone that he and his family have been selected for evacuation to a classified bunker, but things don't go as planned and they have to make their own way to the bunker, which is in Greenland. And they have less than a day before the world burns. With humanity facing extinction, we get to see who people really are and what they're capable of. It's tense as hell to say the least.
Maybe it was my low expectations of Greenland that made me happy that it was good. These global disaster movies follow roughly the same trajectory every time, with this one borrowing elements from 2012, Knowing, and of course Armageddon. But that doesn't mean it's not an engaging action thriller with a lot of great human drama peppered throughout.