As a devastating comet races towards the planet, a family find themselves randomly selected for special relocation. But their journey to safety is troubled, as they will have to fight their way for survival. Greenland is slightly different than your average disaster flick. Albeit still somewhat familiar, it has a compelling family drama that it beautifully builds upon. Combined with tense storytelling, it will absolutely captivate you and tug at your emotions.
Structural engineer John Garrity (Gerard Butler) is navigating a fractured relationship with his wife Allison (Morena Baccarin), trying to make things work for their young son Nathan. They prepare for a gathering of friends to watch an interstellar comet pass over Earth; an event that has been hyped for some time. But as the comet nears, John receives an alert notifying him that he and his family are selected for safe relocation.
He is confused by this, as the comet was never expressed to be a danger. But when a smaller piece strikes nearby, causing massive destruction, he quickly realizes the severity of the situation. As panic sets in and the devastation is imminent, John and Allison will both have to fight for the survival of their family.
Over the years, disaster films have somewhat become a predictable subgenre of action filmmaking. While there are memorable and even iconic films from decades past, like Twister (1996) or The Day After Tomorrow (2004), there have also been a fair share of duds. Of recent, it seems like we can expect less character development in these films and instead just an SFX-laden, redundant piece. But Greenland felt different. Even with its star Gerard Butler having almost solidified himself as a bit of disaster movie aficionado, he steps out of the same old explosive theatrics, for a more family-drama style film, against the backdrop of an apocalypse of sorts.
Both the synopsis and the start of the film reminded me slightly of an old favorite of mine, Deep Impact (1998). The film also focuses on how an impending comet’s destruction has left people terrified, clinging to hope and their loved ones. Yes Greenland is still similar to this premise, but it takes us on a more heart-pounding ride that highlights a different enemy than the comet; humans.
As the comet nears the planet, we focus less on its destructive nature, and more that of humans. It shows how fear and desperation can bring out the worst in us all and it’s certainly something we can recognize in today’s world as well. There are some pretty intense moments throughout the film, but it’s really driven by the heart. And as we learn more about the Garrity family, we begin to connect with them on another level, which really made this film rather more emotional than expected.
This film definitely places you right into the action and it has that chaotic energy this genre typically exudes. It sort of gives you the same feel as those classic popcorn movies, but it’s Butler and Baccarin’s performances that give it so much heart, taking the film to a refreshing new level. You can find Greenland available now on Digital HD, Blu-ray & DVD.
Tell me below, what’s your favorite disaster flick?