Greenland is an American disaster film starring Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin and Roger Dale Floyd. The film follows a family racing against the clock in an attempt to survive, as a planet-destroying comet reigns down on Earth. Greenland is exclusive to Amazon Prime Video (in the UK) and was released on the 5th February 2021.
After the year we had in 2020, it only seems like a matter of time before we turn on the news to see some form on natural phenomenon on course to wipe out the entire human race! Thankfully (and hopefully), nothing like this is set to happen, so instead we can enjoy Greenland from the comfort of our own home, which is one of my favourite disaster movies of recent years.
Gerard Butler plays John, a structural engineer who prior to the discovery of this planet-destroying comet, is going through a tough time with his wife and son. Gerard Butler’s performance in Greenland is authentic and measured and we gain a sense of vulnerability in his character, something which we don’t often see in Gerard Butler roles. It is a really great performance and he nails the character perfectly, at times it almost felt as if he was playing himself within the role.
The story as a whole is simple which means that it just works brilliantly. Often disaster films can be guilty of overcomplicating things, trying to create a scientific backstory for the reasoning of the disaster which ultimately sometimes just serves as waffle. Greenland’s premise however is transparent – there is a comet headed towards Earth, giving John and his family one simple goal of reaching Greenland and seeking shelter before its impact. It’s simplicity and uncomplicated narrative actually makes the film realistic and definitely offers food for thought as to whether such a catastrophe could happen in the future.
It’s hard not get emotionally invested in the rollercoaster of thrills of Greenland. From the off, we experience John and his families disjointed relationship which serves as the heart of the film. At times the relationship between John, his wife and their diabetic son was genuinely tear-jerking and their love and affection for one another really rang home a theme of family unity.
All the chaos and turmoil of the natural disaster essentially serves as a backdrop for the focus on one family and their quest to survive. Whilst I cannot fault the emotional focus on the family, I’d liked to have seen a little more action. We get a good grasp of the magnitude of the devastation the comet is set to cause, but I wanted to see more of the anarchy and disarray around the world in anticipation for the comet’s crash landing to Earth.
Greenland is an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish and its simple, yet poignant story makes it one of the more realistic disaster movies I have ever seen.