Movie Plot – Greenland: A devastating comet “Clarke” is on its way to earth, and a family is fighting to survive it.
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Writer: Chris Sparling
Cast: Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, Roger Dale Floyd
A disaster movie
Disaster movies with an original approach are rare, so do not expect any new things here. However, this time I thought it was all right because of how the story goes.
Well, we can argue that the following was something new.
Admittedly, the first hour is more inspired than you would expect: a meteor shower haunts the world, and there seems to be no escape. The authorities have texted a number of people that they belong to a select group that has access to a bunker at a secret location. (you can already guess where.)
At first, the newly discovered comet Clarke should pass the earth with some small debris that might hit the sea. But by a change, of course, no small debris hits the sea, but one that wipes out an entire city. It then turns out that the comet itself is on its way to earth and would cause even more damage than the comet that had wiped out the dinosaurs.
Everything is also nicely captured by Dana Gonzales (Fargo, Legion), although the camera moved a little too much to get everything right. And it was really too much shaky sometimes.
John Garrity’s family
The focus in this chaos is John Garrity’s family, played by Gerard Butler. He and his wife Alison (Morena Baccarin) are on the verge of divorce but still live together because of their 7-year-old son Nathan. The three of them are just throwing a party with the neighbors when the first lump hits. Suddenly John gets a so-called presidential alert on his cell phone and TV, after which Homeland Security calls him with the message that he and his family have been selected for the emergency shelter. So they have to get to an airbase as soon as possible to take a plane to safer places, but of course, that won’t be easy.
But what does stand out from similar films here is how quickly I sympathized with the characters anyway. Some time is put into setting up their relationships with each other. Morena Baccarin and Gerard Butler have good chemistry, and also the young actor who plays their son, Roger Dale Floyd, is not lacking in quality. Thanks to them, I felt more connected.
Gerard Butler surprised me by taking on a more emotional, vulnerable & realistic father role. In my opinion, Butler belongs to the list of actors that is heavily underrated. Although, I haven’t even seen many of his films, but you’re on my radar now! Butler has specialized in this kind of B action films in recent years, but let’s hope he will get an even more important role in the future.
That’s also why I actually enjoyed this film. Most of the time in disaster movies, there is so much happening that I don’t care about the characters at all. But Greenland really takes its time for its characters. And you have some lovely family moments.
This could be a real scenario one day
Starting with the presidential alerts, the family gets. These really exist, even if they have only been used to test the system and are now intended for the whole population. And yes, I didn’t know this myself. The verification of those selected against QR codes is actually already done. Still, one wonders whether everything in real life would be as well organized as in this film. You do hope that the government has such an emergency plan ready.
So it might seem a bit weird to watch a disaster movie now. After all, chaos inevitably breaks out in Greenland as well. People show the worst of themselves, and then it goes a bit further than hoarding toilet paper. But here, too, this is balanced by good people, mainly care providers and ordinary people who support each other. Some parts are highly applicable at this time, and that is sometimes confronting. I personally would just try to spend some time with my family for the last days if my survival chances are slim.
Greenland’s special effects are also used tactically, but impactfully. However, I can understand if you wanted more disasters. Just a pity that the clichés are plentiful: Butler lives at odds with his almost ex-wife, and their child has diabetes. And also lose sight of each other. Just certain disasters film formulas that you have to ignore to enjoy the movie.
Greenland does what many other disaster movies can’t: give an emotional twist to an exciting, realistic & action-packed disaster story.