Greenland – one of the year’s biggest surprises


Watch Greenland now on Amazon Prime Video.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Let’s face it, apart from Norway’s The Wave in 2015, disaster movies have had a pretty rough ride over recent years. Therefore, my hopes for the comet wipeout drama Greenland remained pretty low on its quiet streaming release. This was a production racked with problems, the departure of actor Chris Evans and the film’s original director Neill Blomkamp before filming only adding to the sense of impending doom. So imagine my surprise when Greenland arrived and kept me gripped from start to finish.

Greenland firmly takes its steer from Deep Impact, The Wave and The Day After Tomorrow in its artistic style and narrative path. Here the nonstop action set pieces of films like 2012 and Armageddon are replaced by a far more nuanced family drama that allows the audience to build a sense of empathy and attachment to the Garrity family as a recently-discovered comet named ‘Clarke’ thunders toward Earth.


There isn’t much new in the story that unfolds that we haven’t seen in dozens of disaster movies over the years, yet Greenland holds the viewer’s attention and feels reasonably fresh. Here, Waugh’s film bathes in the social chaos of an impending armageddon while exploring the differing responses of humans as the comet nears. Here Greenland offers a rare ray of hope in the story that unfolds; hope that humanity could and would find a way to support survival.

Performances are engaging throughout, never descending into simplistic, one-dimensional disaster movie cliches. There’s no doubt that much of this success comes from Chris Sparling’s intelligent screenplay and while Greenland may not quite reach the top of the class, it’s a delightful surprise on so many levels.


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