John Garrity (Gerard Butler) is a man trying to put his life in order. A successful structural engineer, he has recently moved back home with his wife Allison (Morena Baccarin), and their son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd).
John and Allison are attempting to rebuild their marriage and, despite some awkwardness, at first they are moving ahead. In the new film Greenland life is about to become far more complicated for the Garrity family in the form of a comet that is set to pass very close to earth.
The authorities have told the public there is no cause for concern but John notices a large group of military aircraft in the skies shortly before he receives an automated call from Homeland Security telling him to come to an evacuation location with his wife and son. He’s not sure what to make of the message, but things become abundantly clear when a “harmless fragment” strikes and destroys a city on live television.
With panic setting in, the Garrity family head to the evacuation site, only to face complications which leave them separated and facing many dangers and obstacles as they attempt to reunite and get to safety before the big chunk hits in two days.
The film is engaging, and what really stood out for me was how the film relied on the cast versus the array of special effects and action sequences which commonly define the disaster genre.
Despite the circumstances, the characters were very relatable. The tension of the pending impact helped shape their actions instead of just being a countdown to an elaborate array of FX sequences showing cities being devastated. While there is footage of this sort; it is generally confined to news reports versus being the focal points.
Butler was very strong in a departure from his usual action oriented parts as a father trying to make things right in a world that is falling apart around him. It was also nice to hear him using his natural accent for a change as well.
While some may wonder about the timing of releasing a disaster film at the end of 2020 and during the Holiday Season, the film is so engaging that it did not matter to me in the slightest.
Greenland is a film that came in under the radar in terms of hype and expectation but has delivered an enjoyable and memorable viewing experience that is not to be missed.
Gareth is the mastermind behind the popular pop media site Skewed and Reviewed. He lives in Arizona with his wife Em McBride.