by Ian Morton
The problem with most disaster movies is that the suspension of disbelief only ever lasts until something really stupid happens on screen. Whether it’s going back into the burning building or pulling off an inhuman feat of strength, there is more than likely a tipping point that completely takes you out of an already hard to understand situation. While Ric Roman Waugh’s Greenland on the surface looks like another platform for Gerard Butler to fight the end of the world and don yet another job that no one truly believes he can do (ahem, Geostorm), there is actually far more here than first meets the eye.
After a passing comet cluster originally predicted to pass earth changes trajectory, we join John Garrity (Butler) and his family trying to escape the city after they receive a presidential alert informing them that they have been selected to join a selected group of individuals in a bunker. Its a crazy situation but one that is well balanced due in part to the well controlled scale of the disaster.
Rather than heading into space to drill into the comet, the story is told at the ground level, following the Garrity’s as they need to find medicine, deal with traffic jams and overcome altercations with a panicked society. Of course, the magic of coincidence plays a big part as events unfold and there is some overzealous use of CGI (otherwise how else would you know this was a disaster movie) but the grounded approach puts you in the shoes of our heroes and ultimately ramps the tension up as a result.
Not being a huge fan of the genre and still reeling from an almost countless run of disappointing Butler B-movies (I still hold out hope that he can turn things around), I found Greenland to be surprisingly good fun. I found myself getting behind the characters, nervous about each encounter the family had and applauding the film for justifying a lot of its actions – a fact that no one was more astonished by than me!
Greenland is on Amazon Prime now!
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