Watch Greenland now on Amazon Prime Video
Let’s face it, apart from Norway’s The Wave in 2015; disaster movies have had a pretty rough ride over recent years. Therefore, hopes for the comet wipeout drama Greenland remained pretty low right up to its release. The departure of both Chris Evans and its original director Neill Blomkamp before filming, only adding to a sense of impending doom. So imagine my surprise, when Ric Roman Waugh’s movie kept me gripped from start to finish; with Gerard Butler finally allowed to move on from his all-action hero into a more nuanced and balanced role.
Greenland takes its steer from Deep Impact, The Wave and The Day After Tomorrow in its artistic style. The bombastic action set pieces of films like 2012 and Armageddon replaced with a family drama interlaced with short but powerful moments of action. In turn, allowing the audience to build a sense of empathy in the Garrity family’s journey. The world’s safety and security slowly collapsing as a recently-discovered comet named ‘Clarke’ heads toward Earth.
Of course, in truth, there isn’t much new in the story that unfolds; with every possible disaster movie cliche carefully placed along the road. Despite this, Greenland holds the viewer’s attention while at times, providing an uplifting commentary on life. Here, Waugh’s movie not only reflects the social chaos of impending armageddon but humanity at its best. Ensuring Greenland, just like many of the finest examples from the genre, offers hope, and not just CGI, explosions, simplistic heroes and villains.
Meanwhile, performances from Butler, Baccarin and Floyd are engaging throughout. Their characters never descending into simplistic, one-dimensional disaster movie cliches. Much of this comes from a screenplay by Chris Sparling that is balanced and low-key, allowing people and emotions to take president over the apocalyptic comet heading towards Earth. And while it may never quite reach the top of its class. Greenland does make a sizable impact as one of 2021’s biggest cinematic surprises so far.