Very few genres seem to fit our current state quite as well as a disaster flick. Especially one that sends our world into quick panic and showcases the general public in such a selfish and pitiful manner. Greenland is yet another drama that cashes in on the end of the world formula, that has Gerard Butler taking on a comet (not quite literally).
As the world is about to watch in awe as a comet is due to pass by Earth’s atmosphere, it appears the science experts had made a slight miscalculation. A fragment, not even nearly the size of the comet itself, crashes into the state of Florida causing complete destruction that sent shockwaves throughout the US. Realising what is yet to hit them, humanity draws quickly into its ugliest form as people franticly flee, loot and cause whatever ruckus they can in order to survive what is now considered a cataclysmic event that will destroy all inhabitants of Earth.
Moments before the first fragment plummeted into the state of Florida, John Garrity (Butler) receives an anonymous phone call from the government claiming he and his family have been chosen for an emergency shelter relocation. Hesitant how to act at first, John takes his chances with his wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) and son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd) to head to the secret location when the severity of the situation is changed. Why was he chosen? And what is the final plan that the government have secretly put in place?
It seemed that director Roland Emmerich had destroyed any want or need for this genre to continue, as he repeatedly battered us over the head with his world domination, destruction pieces for the majority of his career. Director Ric Roman Waugh feels he has something different and worthwhile to bring to the big screen however, and although we don’t actually get to witness Butler send the comet on its way with a hefty haymaker (shame), there’s enough entertainment to drown out many of its flaws and obscenities.
It follows most of the same beats you’d expect to find with this niche sub-genre, but for once it’s not up to America to save the day. The inevitable doom of Earth is happening. There’s no save the world scheme, no oil drillers being sent to space (lets not forget that was an actual movie premise), only a last resort plan that could reserve some of humanity and potentially save us from worldwide extinction.
Our heroes, who in this case is the Garrity family, are flung into some nasty scenarios. If not dodging from comet debris, they’re having to fight their way through the quick becoming, merciless actions of those trying the earn the same sweet second chance of survival, as John and his family.
Nearing a two hour runtime, Greenland struggles to keep the tempo throughout. We get some exposition, questionable character backstories, that were better off being left out, A silly amount of coincidence and a few outwardly laughable set pieces. Ric Roman Waugh’s frantic world ending thriller, may offer a kind amount of excitement, but will ultimately fail to leave a deep impact, and the day after tomorrow you’d have most likely forgotten much about it.