“Greenland” is one of 2020’s most epic movies – in the true sense of that word.
Gerard Butler plays John Garrity, a civil engineer building skyscrapers in Atlanta. John’s relationship with wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) is a bit rocky. They have a seven-year-old son (Nathan) who’s fascinated with the latest nature-related obsession dominating the TV news cycle. A comet named Clarke is headed to Earth. NASA officials believe a few small fragments will falls harmlessly into the oceans and that the comet is no threat to the planet. But, in a case of art imitating life, the “experts” get it wrong.
A huge chunk of Clarke crashes into Tampa, instantly wiping out everyone and everything in the city. Shockwaves are felt for thousands of miles. Within hours, scientists confirm that it’s the end of the world (as we know it). A gigantic piece of Clarke is on its way. It will wipe-out the entire population of the planet.
But there’s hope for John and his family. He gets a Presidential advisory on his phone telling him they’ve been chosen to relocate to a safe zone. Now, if you’re hoping the President is Morgan Freeman and this is a secret installment of Butler’s “Fallen” franchise, you’ll be disappointed.
However, “Greenland” is directed by “Angel Has Fallen” director Ric Roman Waugh. He and Butler have once again crafted an effectively intense thriller, with solid performances and visuals. Some of the action sequences are absolutely and effectively wild.
About two-thirds of “Greenland” is believable. There’s an authentic vibe in how characters react to their grim fate. The other third consists of moments either poorly handled from a filmmaking standpoint or that are simply laughable.
The dramatic journey this family undertakes over a day and a half is a bit much. But Butler’s everyman persona keeps you involved (which was not the case with 2017’s “Geostorm”). Scott Glenn and Hope Davis are part of the unassuming supporting cast.
In a year with even more apocalypse films than normal (which is saying a lot), the best thing I can say about “Greenland” is it isn’t a disaster.
LCJ GRADE: B-
Running Time: 119 min.