On PVOD Friday Dec. 18.
A planet-killing comet plummets toward Earth, destined to destroy most life on the planet. As society unravels, John Garrity (Gerard Butler), wife Allison (Morena Baccarin), and son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd) fight to survive as they struggle to reach safety in Greenland.
“Greenland” is the next disaster film in a long impressive list of great action films. Since 2020 has been it’s own particular disaster, it will be interesting to see if audiences embrace the “misery loves company” mantra with this film or takes a “glass half full” outlook as we see in this film that things could be much worse.
Disaster movies have drawn audiences for more than six decades with films like “The Andromeda Strain,” “The Towering Inferno” and “Earthquake” in the 1970s. The 1980s faltered in this genre with only a few worthy disaster films “The Day After” and The Quiet Earth.”
Disasters picked up in the 1990s with some classics like “Independence Day,” “Titanic,” “Armageddon,” “Twister,” “The Stand,” “Deep Impact” and “Daylight.”
The 2000s upped the ante with some films touting more realistic special effects such as “The Day After Tomorrow,” Cloverfield,” “2012,” “War Of The Worlds” and Poseidon. The 2010s created a nice blend of personal stories set within a disaster mold with “Cloverfield Lane,” “The Impossible,” “World War Z,” “Edge Of Tomorrow” and “Deepwater Horizon.”
The disaster film formula is pretty simple – introduce regular people like you and I, then throw them into a disaster and watch their journey to survive.
“Greenland” follows this formula perfectly. John is a construction engineer who is having marital problems, and their precocious son Nathan is diabetic, adding additional tension to their survival situation. Although writer Chris Sparling offers plenty of tension, it isn’t the necessarily of the disaster kind — it’s from separation anxiety, abduction worries and looting — stresses that hit closer to home.
The setup of the film is beautiful. News reports talk of a close call with a comet, then suddenly a shard makes it through the atmosphere and the ordeal begins. Yet, audiences may be disappointed that the disaster only makes brief cameos and is used sparingly in the middle of the film.
This film does a good job balancing survival with hope. The worst and the best of humanity is on display fueling the story and injecting it with tension. The acting is good, but limited opportunities arise for the cast to really stretch their skills.
As zero hour approaches, the desperation heightens and we move to the edge of our seat, yet the disaster buff in me wanted to see the carnage ensue — not the deaths, but the destruction — as the planet-killer strikes ... but instead we get more exposition – disappointing.
“Greenland” may help all of us realize that although this pandemic will have a lasting impact, other impacts could make COVID-19 look like a cake walk.